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PHILIPPINE TELEGRAPH AND TELEPHONE COMPANY,*petitioner, vs.

NATIONAL LABOR
RELATIONSCOMMISSIONandGRACEDEGUZMAN,respondents.
DECISION
REGALADO,J.:
Seeking relief through the extraordinary writ ofcertiorari, petitioner Philippine Telegraph and Telephone
Company (hereafter, PT&T) invokes the alleged concealment of civil status and defalcation of company funds as
grounds to terminate the services of an employee.That employee, herein private respondent Grace de Guzman,
contrarilyarguesthatwhatreallymotivatedPT&Ttoterminateherserviceswasherhavingcontractedmarriageduring
heremployment,whichisprohibitedbypetitionerinitscompanypolicies.Shethusclaimsthatshewasdiscriminated
againstingrossviolationoflaw,suchaproscriptionbyanemployerbeingoutlawedbyArticle136oftheLaborCode.
GracedeGuzmanwasinitiallyhiredbypetitionerasareliever,specificallyasaSupernumeraryProjectWorker,
for a fixed period from November 21, 1990 until April 20, 1991 vice one C.F. Tenorio who went on maternity
leave.[1]Under the Reliever Agreement which she signed with petitioner company, her employment was to be
immediatelyterminateduponexpirationoftheagreedperiod.Thereafter,fromJune10,1991toJuly1,1991,andfrom
July19,1991toAugust8,1991,privaterespondentsservicesasrelieverwereagainengagedbypetitioner,thistimein
replacementofoneErlindaF.Dizonwhowentonleaveduringbothperiods.[2]AfterAugust8,1991,andpursuantto
theirRelieverAgreement,herserviceswereterminated.
On September 2, 1991, private respondent was once more asked to join petitioner company as a probationary
employee,theprobationaryperiodtocover150days.Inthejobapplicationformthatwasfurnishedhertobefilledup
for the purpose, she indicated in the portion for civil status therein that she was single although she had contracted
marriageafewmonthsearlier,thatis,onMay26,1991.[3]
It now appears that private respondent had made the same representation in the two successive reliever
agreementswhichshesignedonJune10,1991andJuly8,1991.Whenpetitionersupposedlylearnedaboutthesame
later,itsbranchsupervisorinBaguioCity,DeliaM.Oficial,senttoprivaterespondentamemorandumdatedJanuary
15,1992requiringhertoexplainthediscrepancy.Inthatmemorandum,shewasremindedaboutthecompanyspolicyof
notacceptingmarriedwomenforemployment.[4]
In her reply letter dated January 17, 1992, private respondent stated that she was not aware of PT&Ts policy
regardingmarriedwomenatthetime,andthatallalongshehadnotdeliberatelyhiddenhertruecivilstatus.[5]Petitioner
nonethelessremainedunconvincedbyherexplanations.Privaterespondentwasdismissedfromthecompanyeffective
January29,1992,[6]whichshereadilycontestedbyinitiatingacomplaintforillegaldismissal,coupledwithaclaimfor
nonpayment of cost of living allowances (COLA), before the Regional Arbitration Branch of the National Labor
RelationsCommissioninBaguioCity.
Atthepreliminaryconferenceconductedinconnectiontherewith,privaterespondentvolunteeredtheinformation,
and this was incorporated in the stipulation of facts between the parties, that she had failed to remit the amount
ofP2,380.75ofhercollections.Shethenexecutedapromissorynoteforthatamountinfavorofpetitioner.[7]Allofthese
tookplaceinaformalproceedingandwiththeagreementofthepartiesand/ortheircounsel.
On November 23, 1993, Labor Arbiter Irenarco R. Rimando handed down a decision declaring that private
respondent, who had already gained the status of a regular employee, was illegally dismissed by petitioner.Her
reinstatement, plus payment of the corresponding back wages and COLA, was correspondingly ordered, the labor
arbiterbeingofthefirmlyexpressedviewthatthegroundrelieduponbypetitionerindismissingprivaterespondentwas
clearlyinsufficient,andthatitwasapparentthatshehadbeendiscriminatedagainstonaccountofherhavingcontracted
marriageinviolationofcompanyrules.
OnappealtotheNationalLaborRelationsCommission(NLRC),saidpublicrespondentupheldthelaborarbiter
and,initsdecisiondatedApril29,1994,itruledthatprivaterespondenthadindeedbeenthesubjectofanunjustand
unlawful discrimination by her employer, PT&T.However, the decision of the labor arbiter was modified with the
qualificationthatGracedeGuzmandeservedtobesuspendedforthreemonthsinviewofthedishonestnatureofher
actswhichshouldnotbecondoned.Inallotherrespects,theNLRCaffirmedthedecisionofthelaborarbiter,including
theorderforthereinstatementofprivaterespondentinheremploymentwithPT&T.

ThesubsequentmotionforreconsiderationfiledbypetitionerwasrebuffedbyrespondentNLRCinitsresolution
of November 9, 1994, hence this special civil action assailing the aforestated decisions of the labor arbiter and
respondentNLRC,aswellasthedenialresolutionofthelatter.
1.Decreed in the Bible itself is the universal norm that women should be regarded with love and respect but,
through the ages, men have responded to that injunction with indifference, on the hubristic conceit that women
constitute the inferior sex.Nowhere has that prejudice against womankind been so pervasive as in the field of labor,
especially on the matter of equal employment opportunities and standards.In the Philippine setting, women have
traditionallybeenconsideredasfallingwithinthevulnerablegroupsortypesofworkerswhomustbesafeguardedwith
preventiveandremedialsociallegislationagainstdiscriminatoryandexploitativepracticesinhiring,training,benefits,
promotionandretention.
TheConstitution,cognizantofthedisparityinrightsbetweenmenandwomeninalmostallphasesofsocialand
politicallife,providesagamutofprotectiveprovisions.Tociteafewoftheprimordialones,Section14,ArticleII[8]on
the Declaration of Principles and State Policies, expressly recognizes the role of women in nationbuilding and
commands the State to ensure, at all times, the fundamental equality before the law of women and men.Corollary
thereto,Section3ofArticleXIII[9](theprogenitorwhereofdatesbacktoboththe1935and1973Constitution)pointedly
requires the State to afford full protection to labor and to promote full employment and equality of employment
opportunitiesforall,includinganassuranceofentitlementtotenurialsecurityofallworkers.Similarly,Section14of
Article XIII[10]mandates that the State shall protect working women through provisions for opportunities that would
enablethemtoreachtheirfullpotential.
2.Correctivelaborandsociallawsongenderinequalityhaveemergedwithmorefrequencyintheyearssincethe
LaborCodewasenactedonMay1,1974asPresidentialDecreeNo.442,largelyduetoourcountryscommitmentasa
signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women
(CEDAW).[11]
PrincipalamongtheselawsareRepublicActNo.6727[12]whichexplicitlyprohibitsdiscriminationagainstwomen
with respect to terms and conditions of employment, promotion, and training opportunities Republic Act No.
6955[13]which bans the mailorderbride practice for a fee and the export of female labor to countries that cannot
guarantee protection to the rights of women workers Republic Act No. 7192,[14]also known as the Women in
Development and Nation Building Act, which affords women equal opportunities with men to act and to enter into
contracts,andforappointment,admission,training,graduation,andcommissioninginallmilitaryorsimilarschoolsof
the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police Republic Act No. 7322[15]increasing the
maternitybenefitsgrantedtowomenintheprivatesectorRepublicActNo.7877[16]whichoutlawsandpunishessexual
harassment in the workplace and in the education and training environment and Republic Act No. 8042,[17]or the
MigrantWorkersandOverseasFilipinosActof1995,whichprescribesasamatterofpolicy,interalia,thedeployment
ofmigrantworkers,withemphasisonwomen,onlyincountrieswheretheirrightsaresecure.Likewise,itwouldnotbe
amisstopointoutthatintheFamilyCode,[18]womensrightsinthefieldofcivillawhavebeengreatlyenhancedand
expanded.
In the Labor Code, provisions governing the rights of women workers are found in Articles 130 to 138
thereof.Article 130 involves the right against particular kinds of night work while Article 132 ensures the right of
womentobeprovidedwithfacilitiesandstandardswhichtheSecretaryofLabormayestablishtoensuretheirhealth
and safety.For purposes of labor and social legislation, a woman working in a nightclub, cocktail lounge, massage
clinic, bar or other similar establishments shall be considered as an employee under Article 138.Article 135, on the
otherhand,recognizesawomansrightagainstdiscriminationwithrespecttotermsandconditionsofemploymenton
account simply of sex.Finally, and this brings us to the issue at hand, Article 136 explicitly prohibits discrimination
merelybyreasonofthemarriageofafemaleemployee.
3.Acknowledged as paramount in the due process scheme is the constitutional guarantee of protection to labor
andsecurityoftenure.Thus,anemployerisrequired,asaconditionsinequanonpriortoseveranceoftheemployment
tiesofanindividualunderhisemploy,toconvincinglyestablish,throughsubstantialevidence,theexistenceofavalid
andjustcauseindispensingwiththeservicesofsuchemployee,oneslaborbeingregardedasconstitutionallyprotected
property.

On the other hand, it is recognized that regulation of manpower by the company falls within the socalled
management prerogatives, which prescriptions encompass the matter of hiring, supervision of workers, work
assignments,workingmethodsandassignments,aswellasregulationsonthetransferofemployees,layoffofworkers,
andthediscipline,dismissal,andrecallofemployees.[19]Asputinacase,anemployerisfreetoregulate,accordingto
hisdiscretionandbestbusinessjudgment,allaspectsofemployment,fromhiringtofiring,exceptincasesofunlawful
discriminationorthosewhichmaybeprovidedbylaw.[20]
Inthecaseatbar,petitionerspolicyofnotacceptingorconsideringasdisqualifiedfromworkanywomanworker
whocontractsmarriagerunsafoulofthetestof,andtherightagainst,discrimination,affordedallwomenworkersby
ourlaborlawsandbynolessthantheConstitution.Contrarytopetitionersassertionthatitdismissedprivaterespondent
from employment on account of her dishonesty, the record discloses clearly that her ties with the company were
dissolvedprincipallybecauseofthecompanyspolicythatmarriedwomenarenotqualifiedforemploymentinPT&T,
andnotmerelybecauseofhersupposedactsofdishonesty.
ThatitwassocaneasilybeseenfromthememorandumsenttoprivaterespondentbyDeliaM.Oficial,thebranch
supervisorofthecompany,withthereminder,inthewordsofthelatter,thatyourefullyawarethatthecompanyisnot
acceptingmarriedwomenemployee(sic),asitwasverballyinstructedtoyou.[21]Again,intheterminationnoticesentto
herbythesamebranchsupervisor,privaterespondentwasmadetounderstandthatherseverancefromtheservicewas
not only by reason of her concealment of her married status but, over and on top of that, was her violation of the
companys policy against marriage (and even told you that married women employees are not applicable [sic] or
accepted in our company.)[22]Parenthetically, this seems to be the curious reason why it was made to appear in the
initiatorypleadingsthatpetitionerwasrepresentedinthiscaseonlybyitssaidsupervisorandnotbyitshighestranking
officerswhowouldotherwisebesolidarilyliablewiththecorporation.[23]
Verily, private respondents act of concealing the true nature of her status from PT&T could not be properly
characterizedaswillfulorinbadfaithasshewasmovedtoactthewayshedidmainlybecauseshewantedtoretaina
permanentjobinastablecompany.Inotherwords,shewaspracticallyforcedbythatverysameillegalcompanypolicy
intomisrepresentinghercivilstatusforfearofbeingdisqualifiedfromwork.Whilelossofconfidenceisajustcausefor
termination of employment, it should not be simulated.[24]It must rest on an actual breach of duty committed by the
employeeandnotontheemployerscaprices.[25]Furthermore,itshouldneverbeusedasasubterfugeforcauseswhich
areimproper,illegal,orunjustified.[26]
Inthepresentcontroversy,petitionersexpostulationsthatitdismissedprivaterespondent,notbecausethelatter
gotmarriedbutbecausesheconcealedthatfact,doeshaveahollowring.Herconcealment,soitisclaimed,bespeaks
dishonesty hence the consequent loss of confidence in her which justified her dismissal.Petitioner would asseverate,
therefore, that while it has nothing against marriage, it nonetheless takes umbrage over the concealment of that
fact.Thisimprobablereasoning,withinterstitialdistinctions,perturbstheCourtsinceprivaterespondentmaywellbe
mindedtoclaimthattheimputationofdishonestyshouldbetheotherwayaround.
Petitioner would have the Court believe that although private respondent defied its policy against its female
employees contracting marriage, what could be an act of insubordination was inconsequential.What it submits as
unforgivable is her concealment of that marriage yet, at the same time, declaring that marriage as a trivial matter to
which it supposedly has no objection.In other words, PT&T says it gives its blessings to its female employees
contracting marriage, despite the maternity leaves and other benefits it would consequently respond for and which
obviouslyitwouldhavewantedtoavoid.Ifthatemployeeconfessessuchfactofmarriage,therewillbenosanctionbut
if such employee conceals the same instead of proceeding to the confessional, she will be dismissed.This line of
reasoning does not impress us as reflecting its true management policy or that we are being regaled with responsible
advocacy.
ThisCourtshouldbesparedtheennuiofstrainedreasoningandthetediumofpropositionswhichconfusethrough
less than candid arguments.Indeed, petitioner glosses over the fact that it was its unlawful policy against married
women, both on the aspects of qualification and retention, which compelled private respondent to conceal her
supervenient marriage.It was, however, that very policy alone which was the cause of private respondents secretive
conductnowcomplainedof.Itisthenapropostorecallthefamiliarsayingthathewhoisthecauseofthecauseisthe
causeoftheevilcaused.

Finally, petitioners collateral insistence on the admission of private respondent that she supposedly
misappropriatedcompanyfunds,asanadditionalgroundtodismissherfromemployment,issomewhatinsincereand
selfserving.Concededly,privaterespondentadmittedinthecourseoftheproceedingsthatshefailedtoremitsomeof
her collections, but that is an altogether different story.The fact is that she was dismissed solely because of her
concealmentofhermaritalstatus,andnotonthebasisofthatsupposeddefalcationofcompanyfunds.Thatthelabor
arbiterwouldthusconsiderpetitionerssubmissionsonthissupposeddishonestyasamereafterthought,justtobolsterits
casefordismissal,isaperceptiveconclusionbornofexperienceinlaborcases.For,therewasnoshowingthatprivate
respondent deliberately misappropriated the amount or whether her failure to remit the same was through negligence
and,ifso,whetherthenegligencewasinnaturesimpleorgrave.Infact,itwasmerelyagreedthatprivaterespondent
executeapromissorynotetorefundthesame,whichshedid,andthematterwasdeemedsettledasaperipheralissuein
thelaborcase.
Private respondent, it must be observed, had gained regular status at the time of her dismissal.When she was
servedherwalkingpapersonJanuary29,1992,shewasabouttocompletetheprobationaryperiodof150daysasshe
wascontractedasaprobationaryemployeeonSeptember2,1991.Thatherdismissalwouldbeeffectedjustwhenher
probationaryperiodwaswindingdownclearlyraisestheplausibleconclusionthatitwasdoneinordertopreventher
fromearningsecurityoftenure.[27]Ontheotherhand,herearlierstintswiththecompanyasrelieverwereundoubtedly
thoseofaregularemployee,evenifthesamewereforfixedperiods,assheperformedactivitieswhichwereessentialor
necessaryintheusualtradeandbusinessofPT&T.[28]Theprimarystandardofdeterminingregularemploymentisthe
reasonable connection between the activity performed by the employee in relation to the business or trade of the
employer.[29]
Asanemployeewhohadthereforegainedregularstatus,andasshehadbeendismissedwithoutjustcause,sheis
entitled to reinstatement without loss of seniority rights and other privileges and to full back wages, inclusive of
allowances and other benefits or their monetary equivalent.[30]However, as she had undeniably committed an act of
dishonestyinconcealingherstatus,albeitunderthecompulsionofanunlawfulimpositionofpetitioner,thethreemonth
suspensionimposedbyrespondentNLRCmustbeupheldtoobviatetheimpressionorinferencethatsuchactshouldbe
condoned.Itwouldbeunfairtotheemployerifsheweretoreturntoitsfoldwithoutanysanctionwhatsoeverforheract
which was not totally justified.Thus, her entitlement to back wages, which shall be computed from the time her
compensation was withheld up to the time of her actual reinstatement, shall be reduced by deducting therefrom the
amountcorrespondingtoherthreemonthssuspension.
4. The government, to repeat, abhors any stipulation or policy in the nature of that adopted by petitioner
PT&T.TheLaborCodestates,innouncertainterms,asfollows:
ART.136.Stipulationagainstmarriage.Itshallbeunlawfulforanemployertorequireasaconditionofemployment
orcontinuationofemploymentthatawomanshallnotgetmarried,ortostipulateexpresslyortacitlythatupongetting
married,awomanemployeeshallbedeemedresignedorseparated,ortoactuallydismiss,discharge,discriminateor
otherwiseprejudiceawomanemployeemerelybyreasonofmarriage.
This provision had a studied history for its origin can be traced to Section 8 of Presidential Decree No.
148,[31]betterknownastheWomenandChildLaborLaw,whichamendedparagraph(c),Section12ofRepublicAct
No.679,[32]entitledAnActtoRegulatetheEmploymentofWomenandChildren,toProvidePenaltiesforViolations
Thereof,andforOtherPurposes.TheforerunnertoRepublicActNo.679,ontheotherhand,wasActNo.3071which
became law on March 16, 1923 and which regulated the employment of women and children in shops, factories,
industrial,agricultural,andmercantileestablishmentsandotherplacesoflaborinthethenPhilippineIslands.
It would be worthwhile to reflect upon and adopt here the rationalization inZialcita, et al. vs. Philippine Air
Lines,[33]adecisionthatemanatedfromtheOfficeofthePresident.There,apolicyofPhilippineAirLinesrequiringthat
prospective flight attendants must be single and that they will be automatically separated from the service once they
marry was declared void, it being violative of the clear mandate in Article 136 of the Labor Code with regard to
discriminationagainstmarriedwomen.Thus:
Of first impression is the incompatibility of the respondents policy or regulation with the codal provision of
law.Respondent is resolute in its contention that Article 136 of the Labor Code applies only to women employed in
ordinary occupations and that the prohibition against marriage of women engaged in extraordinary occupations, like
flightattendants,isfairandreasonable,consideringthepecularitiesoftheirchosenprofession.

Wecannotsubscribetothelineofreasoningpursuedbyrespondent.Allalong,itknewthatthecontrovertedpolicyhas
alreadymetitsdoomasearlyasMarch13,1973whenPresidentialDecreeNo.148,otherwiseknownastheWomen
andChildLaborLaw,waspromulgated.Butforthetimidityofthoseaffectedortheirlaborunionsinchallengingthe
validityofthepolicy,thesamewasabletoobtainamomentaryreprieve.AcloselookatSection8ofsaiddecree,which
amended paragraph (c) of Section 12 of Republic Act No. 679, reveals that it is exactly the same provision
reproducedverbatiminArticle136oftheLaborCode,whichwaspromulgatedonMay1,1974totakeeffectsix(6)
monthslater,oronNovember1,1974.
Itcannotbegainsaidthat,withthereiterationofthesameprovisioninthenewLaborCode,allpoliciesandactsagainst
itaredeemedillegalandthereforeabrogated.True,Article132enjoinstheSecretaryofLabortoestablishstandardsthat
willensurethesafetyandhealthofwomenemployeesandinappropriatecasesshallbyregulationrequireemployersto
determineappropriateminimumstandardsforterminationinspecialoccupations,suchasthoseofflightattendants,but
thatispreciselythefactorthatmilitatesagainstthepolicyofrespondent.Thestandardshavenotyetbeenestablishedas
setforthinthefirstparagraph,norhastheSecretaryofLaborissuedanyregulationaffectingflightattendants.
Itislogicaltopresumethat,intheabsenceofsaidstandardsorregulationswhichareasyettobeestablished,thepolicy
of respondent against marriage is patently illegal.This finds support in Section 9 of the New Constitution, which
provides:
Sec.9.TheStateshallaffordprotectiontolabor,promotefullemploymentandequalityinemployment,ensureequal
work opportunities regardless of sex, race, or creed, and regulate the relations between workers and employees.The
State shall assure the rights of workers to selforganization, collective bargaining, security of tenure, and just and
humaneconditionsofworkxxx.
Moreover, we cannot agree to the respondents proposition that termination from employment of flight attendants on
accountofmarriageisafairandreasonablestandarddesignedfortheirownhealth,safety,protectionandwelfare,asno
basis has been laid therefor.Actually, respondent claims that its concern is not so muchagainst the continued
employmentoftheflightattendantmerelybyreasonofmarriageasobservedbytheSecretaryofLabor,butratheron
theconsequenceofmarriagepregnancy.Respondentdiscussedatlengthintheinstantappealthesupposedilleffectsof
pregnancyonflightattendantsinthecourseoftheiremployment.Wefeelthatthisneedsnofurtherdiscussionasithad
beenadequatelyexplainedbytheSecretaryofLaborinhisdecisionofMay2,1976.
Inavainattempttogivemeaningtoitsposition,respondentwentasfarasinvokingtheprovisionsofArticles52and
216oftheNewCivilCodeonthepreservationofmarriageasaninviolablesocialinstitutionandthefamilyasabasic
socialinstitution,respectively,asbasesforitspolicyofnonmarriage.Inbothinstances,respondentpredicatesabsence
of a flight attendant from her home for long periods of time as contributory to an unhappy married life.This is pure
conjecture not based on actual conditions, considering that, in this modern world, sophisticated technology has
narrowed the distance from one place to another.Moreover, respondent overlooked the fact that married flight
attendantscanprogramtheirlivestoadapttoprevailingcircumstancesandevents.
Article136isnotintendedtoapplyonlytowomenemployedinordinaryoccupations,oritshouldhavecategorically
expressedso.Thesweepingintendmentofthelaw,beitonspecialorordinaryoccupations,isreflectedinthewholetext
andsupportedbyArticle135thatspeaksofnondiscriminationontheemploymentofwomen.
The judgment of the Court of Appeals inGualberto, et al. vs. Marinduque Mining & Industrial
Corporation[34]consideredasvoidapolicyofthesamenature.Insaidcase,respondent,indismissingfromtheservice
the complainant, invoked a policy of the firm to consider female employees in the project it was undertaking as
separated the moment they get married due to lack of facilities for married women.Respondent further claimed that
complainantwasemployedintheprojectwithanoralunderstandingthatherserviceswouldbeterminatedwhenshe
getsmarried.Brandingthepolicyoftheemployerasanexampleofdiscriminatorychauvinismtantamounttodenying
equal employment opportunities to women simply on account of their sex, the appellate court struck down said
employer policy as unlawful in view of its repugnance to the Civil Code, Presidential Decree No. 148 and the
Constitution.
UnderAmericanjurisprudence,jobrequirementswhichestablishemployerpreferenceorconditionsrelatingtothe
maritalstatusofanemployeearecategorizedasasexplusdiscriminationwhereitisimposedononesexandnotonthe
other.Further,thesameshouldbeevenlyappliedandmustnotinflictadverseeffectsonaracialorsexualgroupwhich
is protected by federal job discrimination laws.Employment rules that forbid or restrict the employment of married

women,butdonotapplytomarriedmen,havebeenheldtoviolateTitleVIIoftheUnitedStatesCivilRightsActof
1964,themainfederalstatuteprohibitingjobdiscriminationagainstemployeesandapplicantsonthebasisof,among
otherthings,sex.[35]
Further, it is not relevant that the rule is not directed against all women but just against married women.And,
where the employer discriminates against married women, but not against married men, the variable is sex and the
discriminationisunlawful.[36]Upontheotherhand,arequirementthatawomanemployeemustremainunmarriedcould
be justified as a bona fide occupational qualification, or BFOQ, where the particular requirements of the job would
justify the same, but not on the ground of a general principle, such as the desirability of spreading work in the
workplace.Arequirementofthatnaturewouldbevalidprovideditreflectsaninherentqualityreasonablynecessaryfor
satisfactoryjobperformance.Thus,inonecase,anomarriageruleapplicabletobothmaleandfemaleflightattendants,
wasregardedasunlawfulsincetherestrictionwasnotrelatedtothejobperformanceoftheflightattendants.[37]
5.PetitionerspolicyisnotonlyinderogationoftheprovisionsofArticle136oftheLaborCodeontherightofa
woman to be free from any kind of stipulation against marriage in connection with her employment, but it likewise
assaultsgoodmoralsandpublicpolicy,tendingasitdoestodepriveawomanofthefreedomtochooseherstatus,a
privilegethatbyallaccountsinheresintheindividualasanintangibleandinalienableright.[38]Hence,whileitistrue
thatthepartiestoacontractmayestablishanyagreements,terms,andconditionsthattheymaydeemconvenient,the
same should not be contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order, or public policy.[39]Carried to its logical
consequences, it may even be said that petitioners policy against legitimate marital bonds would encourage illicit or
commonlawrelationsandsubvertthesacramentofmarriage.
Parenthetically,theCivilCodeprovisionsonthecontractoflaborstatethattherelationsbetweentheparties,that
is, of capital and labor, are not merely contractual, impressed as they are with so much public interest that the same
shouldyieldtothecommongood.[40]Itgoesontointonethatneithercapitalnorlaborshouldvisitactsofoppression
againsttheother,norimpairtheinterestorconvenienceofthepublic.[41]Inthefinalreckoning,thedangerofjustsucha
policyagainstmarriagefollowedbypetitionerPT&Tisthatitstrikesattheveryessence,idealsandpurposeofmarriage
as an inviolable social institution and, ultimately, of the family as the foundation of the nation.[42]That it must be
effectivelyinterdictedhereinallitsindirect,disguisedordissembledformsasdiscriminatoryconductderogatoryofthe
lawsofthelandisnotonlyinorderbutimperativelyrequired.
ONTHEFOREGOINGPREMISES,thepetitionofPhilippineTelegraphandTelephoneCompanyishereby
DISMISSEDforlackofmerit,withdoublecostsagainstpetitioner.
SOORDERED.
Romero,Puno,Mendoza,andTorres,Jr.,JJ.,concur.

LAZAROB.RAYRAY,plaintiffappellant,
vs.
CHAEKYUNGLEE,defendantappellee.
CONCEPCION,C.J.:
AppealfromadecisionoftheCourtofJuvenileandDomesticRelations.
Plaintiff Lazaro Rayray seeks the annulment of his marriage to defendant Chae Kyung Lee. Inasmuch as, the latter's
whereabouts is unknown, and she was formerly a resident of Pusan, Korea, summons was served by publication, as
providedintheRulesofCourt.Thereafter,plaintiffmovedthatdefendantbedeclaredindefault,shenothavingfiledan
answer,andthatadatebesetforthereceptionofhisevidence.Beforeactingonthismotion,thelowercourtreferredthe
casetotheCityFiscalofManilapursuanttoArticles88and101oftheCivilCodeofthePhilippines,forthepurposeof
determiningwhetherornotacollusionbetweenthepartiesexists.Saidofficerhavingfoundnosuchcollusion,thecase
washeardonthemerits.Induecourse,thereafter,decisionwasrendereddismissingplaintiff'scomplaint,withoutcosts,
upontheground:(1)thatthecourtcouldnotnullifyamarriagecontractedabroadand(2)thatthefactsprovendonot
warrantthereliefprayedfor.Areconsiderationofthisdecisionhavingbeendenied,plaintiffappealedtotheCourtof
Appeals,whichcertifiedthecasetotheSupremeCourt,thejurisdictionofthelowercourtbeinginissueintheappeal.

Inrelationthereto,thecourtaquofoundthatithadnojurisdictiontopassuponthevalidityofplaintiff'smarriagetothe
defendant,ithavingbeensolemnizedinSeoul,Korea.Saidconclusioniserroneous.Inorderthatagivencasecouldbe
validlydecidedbyacourtofjustice,itmusthavejurisdictionover(1)thesubjectmatterofthelitigation(2)theperson
ofthepartiesthereinand(3)inactionsinremorquasiinrem,theres.1
The subjectmatter of the present case is the annulment of plaintiff's marriage to the defendant, which is within the
jurisdictionofourcourtsoffirstinstance,2and,inManila,ofitsCourtofJuvenileandDomesticRelations.3
The same acquired jurisdiction over plaintiff herein by his submission thereto in consequence of the filing of the
complaint herein.4Defendant was placed under the jurisdiction of said court, upon the service of summons by
publication.5
This is an actionin rem, for it concerns the status of the parties herein, and status affects or binds the whole word.
Theresinthepresentcaseistherelationbetweensaidparties,ortheirmarriagetie.6Jurisdictionoverthesamedepends
upon the nationality or domicile of the parties, not the place of celebration of marriage, or thelocus
celebrationis.7Plaintiff here is a citizen of the Philippines, domiciled therein. His status is, therefore, subject to our
jurisdiction,onbothcounts.Truethatdefendantwasandunderplaintiff'stheorystillisanonresidentalien.But,
thisfactdoesnotdeprivethelowercourtofitsjurisdictiontopassuponthevalidityofhermarriagetoplaintiffherein.
Indeed,marriageisoneofthecasesofdoublestatus,inthatthestatusthereininvolvesandaffectstwopersons.Oneis
married,neverinabstractoravacuum,but,alwaystosomebodyelse.Hence,ajudicialdecreeonthemarriagestatusof
a person necessarily reflects upon the status of another and the relation between them. The prevailing rule is,
accordingly,thatacourthasjurisdictionovertheres,inanactionforannulmentofmarriage,provided,atleast,oneof
the parties is domiciled in, or a national of, the forum.8Since plaintiff is a Filipino, domiciled in the Philippines, it
followsthatthelowercourthadjurisdictionovertheres,inadditiontoitsjurisdictionoverthesubjectmatterandthe
parties.Inotherwords,itcouldvalidlyinquireintothelegalityofthemarriagebetweenthepartiesherein.
As regards the substantial validity of said marriage, plaintiff testified that he met the defendant in Pusan Korea,
sometimein1952,whereshewasoperatinganightclubthattheylivedtogetherfromNovember1952toApril1955
thattheyweremarriedinPusanKorea,onMarch15,1953,asattestedtobytheirmarriagecertificateExhibitDthat
beforetheweddingsheobtainedthe"policeclearance"ExhibitA,writteninKoreanlanguage,anddatedFebruary16,
1953,whichwasnecessaryinorderthatshecouldcontractmarriagethatonJune30,1953,heproceededtoIndiaand
left the defendant, then in advanced stage of pregnancy, in Korea that in October, 1953, she joined him in India,
bringingwithhersaidExhibitA,anditstranslationintoEnglish,ExhibitBthathethennoticedthat,onFebruary16,
1958,defendantwasalreadymarried,accordingtosaidExhibitBthatasheconfrontedthedefendantwiththecontents
ofthisdocument,herreplywasthatitisnotunusualforaKoreangirltomarrytwiceinKoreathatwhenheinquired
aboutherstatusonMarch15,1953,defendantconfidedtohimthatshehadlivedwithabouttwo(2)Americansanda
Korean,adding,however,thattherewasnoimpedimenttohercontractingmarriagewithhimandthat,lateron,they
wereseparatedandherwhereaboutsarenowunknowntohim.
The lower court considered plaintiffs evidence insufficient to establish that defendant was married to another person
priortoMarch15,1953,andweagreewiththisconclusion.Tobeginwith,ExhibitAisnotsigned.Itmerelypurportsto
bearthesealoftheChiefofPusanNationalPolice.Secondly,therecorddoesnotshowwhopreparedit,muchlessthat
he had personal knowledge of the truth of the entry therein concerning defendant's status on February 15, 1953. It
shouldbenoted,thatdefendantwasanative,notofPusanbutofSeoul,Korea.Hence,ExhibitAcould,atbest,beno
morethanhearsayevidence.Again,whenplaintiffallegedlyconfrontedthedefendantwiththecontentsofExhibitB,
defendantdidnotsaythatshehadbeenmarriedbefore.Plaintiffdeclaredthatsheadmittedhavingpreviouslylivedwith
severalothermen,adding,however,thatshehadnoimpediment,thus,ineffect,negatingtheallegedpreviousmarriage.
Thirdly, if Exhibit A was obtained on February 16, 1953, in order to establish defendant's qualification to contract
marriage, why is it that the wedding took place, despite the entry in said document to the effect that defendant was
marriedalready?ThereisnocompetentevidencetotheeffectthatKoreanlawspermitbigamyorpolygamy.Moreover,
thepresumptionisthattheforeignlawisidenticaltothelexfori,or,inthecaseatbar,thePhilippineLaw.9Infact,the
statement,imputedbyplaintifftothedefendant,totheeffectthat,althoughshehadcohabitedbeforewithothermen,
therewasnoimpedimenttohermarryinghim,clearlysuggeststhatapreviousmarriageonherpartwouldhavebeen,in
heropinion,alegalobstacletohermarriagewiththeplaintiffs.Thentoo,themarriagecertificateExhibitDcontains
spacesfortheentryofdataonwhetheranyofthecontractingpartieshadbeenpreviouslymarriedwhethertheprior

marriagehadbeendissolvedbyadecreeofdivorceand,iftherehadbeensuchdecree,thedatethereof.Surely,these
datawouldbeabsolutelyirrelevantifpolygamyweresanctionedinKorea.And,again,whyisitthatExhibitDstates
thatdefendanthadhadnopreviousmarriage?
Last,butnotleast,plaintiffcannotpossiblysecurethereliefprayedforunlessfullfaithandcredencearegiventohis
testimony,butwecannotbelievehimfortherecordsshowthathewouldnothesitatetoliewhenitsuitshispurpose.
Thus, for instance, when plaintiff contracted marriage with the defendant, he said that he was single, although, he
admitted,thiswasalie,because,sometimein1940,hemarriedinBaguio,oneAdelaidaMelecioorValdez.10But,then
hewould,also,haveusbelievethathismarriagewiththelatterwasillegalorfictitious,becauseAdelaidaandhedidno
morethansign,onasmallwindowintheCityHallofBaguio,certaindocumentsthecontentsofwhichhedidnotread.
WHEREFORE,thedecisionappealedfromshouldbe,asitishereby,affirmed,withthecostsofthisinstanceagainst
plaintiffappellant.Itissoordered.
Reyes,J.B.L.,Dizon,Regala,Makalintal,Bengzon,J.P.,Zaldivar,SanchezandCastro,JJ.,concur.
Barrera,J,isonleave.
CECILIAZULUETA,petitioner,vs.COURTOFAPPEALSandALFREDOMARTIN,respondents.
DECISION
MENDOZA,J.:
This is a petition to review the decision of the Court of Appeals, affirming the decision of the Regional Trial
Court of Manila (Branch X) which ordered petitioner to return documents and papers taken by her from private
respondentsclinicwithoutthelattersknowledgeandconsent.
Thefactsareasfollows:
PetitionerCeciliaZuluetaisthewifeofprivaterespondentAlfredoMartin.OnMarch26,1982,petitionerentered
the clinic of her husband, a doctor of medicine, and in the presence of her mother, a driver and private respondents
secretary,forciblyopenedthedrawersandcabinetinherhusbandsclinicandtook157documentsconsistingofprivate
correspondencebetweenDr.Martinandhisallegedparamours,greetingscards,cancelledchecks,diaries,Dr.Martins
passport,andphotographs.Thedocumentsandpaperswereseizedforuseinevidenceinacaseforlegalseparationand
fordisqualificationfromthepracticeofmedicinewhichpetitionerhadfiledagainstherhusband.
Dr.Martinbroughtthisactionbelowforrecoveryofthedocumentsandpapersandfordamagesagainstpetitioner.
ThecasewasfiledwiththeRegionalTrialCourtofManila,BranchX,which,aftertrial,renderedjudgmentforprivate
respondent,Dr.AlfredoMartin,declaringhimthecapital/exclusiveownerofthepropertiesdescribedinparagraph3of
plaintiffsComplaintorthosefurtherdescribedintheMotiontoReturnandSuppressandorderingCeciliaZuluetaand
anypersonactinginherbehalftoimmediatelyreturnthepropertiestoDr.MartinandtopayhimP5,000.00,asnominal
damages P5,000.00, as moral damages and attorneys fees and to pay the costs of the suit. The writ of preliminary
injunction earlier issued was made final and petitioner Cecilia Zulueta and her attorneys and representatives were
enjoinedfromusingorsubmitting/admittingasevidencethedocumentsandpapersinquestion.Onappeal,theCourtof
AppealsaffirmedthedecisionoftheRegionalTrialCourt.Hencethispetition.
Thereisnoquestionthatthedocumentsandpapersinquestionbelongtoprivaterespondent,Dr.AlfredoMartin,
andthattheyweretakenbyhiswife,thehereinpetitioner,withouthisknowledgeandconsent.Forthatreason,thetrial
court declared the documents and papers to be properties of private respondent, ordered petitioner to return them to
private respondent and enjoined her from using them in evidence. In appealing from the decision of the Court of
Appealsaffirmingthetrialcourtsdecision,petitionersonlygroundisthatinAlfredoMartinv.AlfonsoFelix,Jr.,1this
Courtruledthatthedocumentsandpapers(markedasAnnexesAitoJ7ofrespondentscommentinthatcase)were
admissibleinevidenceand,therefore,theirusebypetitionersattorney,AlfonsoFelix,Jr.,didnotconstitutemalpractice
orgrossmisconduct.ForthisreasonitiscontendedthattheCourtofAppealserredinaffirmingthedecisionofthetrial
courtinsteadofdismissingprivaterespondentscomplaint.
Petitioners contention has no merit. The case against Atty. Felix, Jr. was for disbarment. Among other things,
privaterespondent,Dr.AlfredoMartin,ascomplainantinthatcase,chargedthatinusingthedocumentsinevidence,
Atty. Felix, Jr. committed malpractice or gross misconduct because of the injunctive order of the trial court. In
dismissingthecomplaintagainstAtty.Felix,Jr.,thisCourttooknoteofthefollowingdefenseofAtty.Felix,Jr.whichit
foundtobeimpressedwithmerit:2

Ontheallegedmalpracticeorgrossmisconductofrespondent[AlfonsoFelix,Jr.],hemaintainsthat:
xxxxxxxxx
4. When respondent refiled Cecilias case for legal separation before the Pasig Regional Trial Court, there was
admittedlyanorderoftheManilaRegionalTrialCourtprohibitingCeciliafromusingthedocumentsAnnexAItoJ7.
On September 6, 1983, however having appealed the said order to this Court on a petition for certiorari, this Court
issuedarestrainingorderonaforesaiddatewhichordertemporarilysetasidetheorderofthetrialcourt.Hence,during
theenforceabilityofthisCourtsorder,respondentsrequestforpetitionertoadmitthegenuinenessandauthenticityof
thesubjectannexescannotbelookeduponasmalpractice.Notably,petitionerDr.Martinfinallyadmittedthetruthand
authenticity of the questioned annexes. At that point in time, would it have been malpractice for respondent to use
petitioners admission as evidence against him in the legal separation case pending in the Regional Trial Court of
Makati?Respondentsubmitsitisnotmalpractice.
Significantly, petitioners admission was done not thru his counsel but by Dr. Martin himself under oath. Such
verifiedadmissionconstitutesanaffidavit,and,therefore,receivableinevidenceagainsthim.Petitionerbecamebound
by his admission. For Cecilia to avail herself of her husbands admission and use the same in her action for legal
separationcannotbetreatedasmalpractice.
Thus,theacquittalofAtty.Felix,Jr.intheadministrativecaseamountstonomorethanadeclarationthathisuse
ofthedocumentsandpapersforthepurposeofsecuringDr.Martinsadmissionastotheirgenuinessandauthenticitydid
notconstituteaviolationoftheinjunctiveorderofthetrialcourt.Bynomeansdoesthedecisioninthatcaseestablish
theadmissibilityofthedocumentsandpapersinquestion.
ItcannotbeoveremphasizedthatifAtty.Felix,Jr.wasacquittedofthechargeofviolatingthewritofpreliminary
injunctionissuedbythetrialcourt,itwasonlybecause,atthetimeheusedthedocumentsandpapers,enforcementof
theorderofthetrialcourtwastemporarilyrestrainedbythisCourt.TheTROissuedbythisCourtwaseventuallylifted
asthepetitionforcertiorarifiledbypetitioneragainstthetrialcourtsorderwasdismissedand,therefore,theprohibition
againstthefurtheruseofthedocumentsandpapersbecameeffectiveagain.
Indeedthedocumentsandpapersinquestionareinadmissibleinevidence.Theconstitutionalinjunctiondeclaring
theprivacyofcommunicationandcorrespondence[tobe]inviolable3isnolessapplicablesimplybecauseitisthewife
(whothinksherselfaggrievedbyherhusbandsinfidelity)whoisthepartyagainstwhomtheconstitutionalprovisionis
tobeenforced.TheonlyexceptiontotheprohibitionintheConstitutionisifthereisalawfulorder[froma]courtor
when public safety or order requires otherwise, as prescribed by law.4Any violation of this provision renders the
evidenceobtainedinadmissibleforanypurposeinanyproceeding.5
Theintimaciesbetweenhusbandandwifedonotjustifyanyoneoftheminbreakingthedrawersandcabinetsof
theotherandinransackingthemforanytelltaleevidenceofmaritalinfidelity.Aperson,bycontractingmarriage,does
notshedhis/herintegrityorhisrighttoprivacyasanindividualandtheconstitutionalprotectioniseveravailabletohim
ortoher.
The law insures absolute freedom of communication between the spouses by making it privileged. Neither
husband nor wife may testify for or against the other without the consent of the affected spouse while the marriage
subsists.6Neithermaybeexaminedwithouttheconsentoftheotherastoanycommunicationreceivedinconfidenceby
one from the other during the marriage, save for specified exceptions.7But one thing is freedom of communication
quiteanotherisacompulsionforeachonetosharewhatoneknowswiththeother.Andthishasnothingtodowiththe
dutyoffidelitythateachowestotheother.
WHEREFORE,thepetitionforreviewisDENIEDforlackofmerit.
SOORDERED.
Regalado(Chairman),Romero,andPuno,JJ.,concur.
BEATRIZP.WASSMER,plaintiffappellee,
vs.
FRANCISCOX.VELEZ,defendantappellant.
BENGZON,J.P.,J.:
The facts that culminated in this case started with dreams and hopes, followed by appropriate planning and serious
endeavors,butterminatedinfrustrationand,whatisworse,completepublichumiliation.

Francisco X. Velez and Beatriz P. Wassmer, following their mutual promise of love, decided to get married and set
September4,1954asthebigday.OnSeptember2,1954Velezleftthisnoteforhisbridetobe:
DearBet
WillhavetopostponeweddingMymotheropposesit.AmleavingontheConvairtoday.
PleasedonotasktoomanypeopleaboutthereasonwhyThatwouldonlycreateascandal.
Paquing
Butthenextday,September3,hesentherthefollowingtelegram:
NOTHING CHANGED REST ASSURED RETURNING VERY SOON APOLOGIZE MAMA
PAPALOVE.
PAKING
ThereafterVelezdidnotappearnorwasheheardfromagain.
SuedbyBeatrizfordamages,Velezfilednoanswerandwasdeclaredindefault.Plaintiffadducedevidencebeforethe
clerk of court as commissioner, and on April 29, 1955, judgment was rendered ordering defendant to pay plaintiff
P2,000.00asactualdamagesP25,000.00asmoralandexemplarydamagesP2,500.00asattorney'sfeesandthecosts.
OnJune21,1955defendantfileda"petitionforrelieffromorders,judgmentandproceedingsandmotionfornewtrial
and reconsideration." Plaintiff moved to strike it cut. But the court, on August 2, 1955, ordered the parties and their
attorneystoappearbeforeitonAugust23,1955"toexploreatthisstageoftheproceedingsthepossibilityofarrivingat
anamicablesettlement."Itaddedthatshouldanyofthemfailtoappear"thepetitionforreliefandtheoppositionthereto
willbedeemedsubmittedforresolution."
OnAugust23,1955defendantfailedtoappearbeforecourt.Instead,onthefollowingdayhiscounselfiledamotionto
defer for two weeks the resolution on defendants petition for relief. The counsel stated that he would confer with
defendant in Cagayan de Oro City the latter's residence on the possibility of an amicable element. The court
grantedtwoweekscountedfromAugust25,1955.
PlaintiffmanifestedonJune15,1956thatthetwoweeksgivenbythecourthadexpiredonSeptember8,1955butthat
defendantandhiscounselhadfailedtoappear.
AnotherchanceforamicablesettlementwasgivenbythecourtinitsorderofJuly6,1956callingthepartiesandtheir
attorneystoappearonJuly13,1956.Thistime.however,defendant'scounselinformedthecourtthatchancesofsettling
thecaseamicablywerenil.
OnJuly20,1956thecourtissuedanorderdenyingdefendant'saforesaidpetition.DefendanthasappealedtothisCourt.
In his petition of June 21, 1955 in the courta quodefendant alleged excusable negligence as ground to set aside the
judgmentbydefault.Specifically,itwasstatedthatdefendantfilednoanswerinthebeliefthatanamicablesettlement
wasbeingnegotiated.
A petition for relief from judgment on grounds of fraud, accident, mistake or excusable negligence, must be duly
supported by an affidavit of merits stating facts constituting a valid defense. (Sec. 3, Rule 38, Rules of Court.)
Defendant'saffidavitofmeritsattachedtohispetitionofJune21,1955stated:"Thathehasagoodandvaliddefense
against plaintiff's cause of action, his failure to marry the plaintiff as scheduled having been due to fortuitous event
and/orcircumstancesbeyondhiscontrol."Anaffidavitofmeritslikethisstatingmereconclusionsoropinionsinsteadof
factsis not valid. (Cortes vs. Co Bun Kim, L3926, Oct. 10, 1951 Vaswani vs. P. Tarrachand Bros., L15800,
December29,1960.)
Defendant,however,wouldcontendthattheaffidavitofmeritswasinfactunnecessary,orameresurplusage,because
thejudgmentsoughttobesetasidewasnullandvoid,ithavingbeenbasedonevidenceadducedbeforetheclerkof
court.InProvinceofPangasinanvs.Palisoc,L16519,October30,1962,thisCourtpointedoutthattheprocedureof
designatingtheclerkofcourtascommissionertoreceiveevidenceissanctionedbyRule34(nowRule33)oftheRules
ofCourt.Nowastodefendant'sconsenttosaidprocedure,thesamedidnothavetobeobtainedforhewasdeclaredin
defaultandthushadnostandingincourt(Velezvs.Ramas,40Phil.787Alanovs.CourtofFirstInstance,L14557,
October30,1959).
Insupportofhis"motionfornewtrialandreconsideration,"defendantassertsthatthejudgmentiscontrarytolaw.The
reason given is that "there is no provision of the Civil Code authorizing" an action for breach of promise to marry.

Indeed, our ruling inHermosisima vs. Court of Appeals(L14628, Sept. 30, 1960), as reiterated inEstopa vs.
Biansay(L14733,Sept.30,1960),isthat"merebreachofapromisetomarry"isnotanactionablewrong.Wepointed
outthatCongressdeliberatelyeliminatedfromthedraftofthenewCivilCodetheprovisionsthatwouldhaveitso.
Itmustnotbeoverlooked,however,thattheextenttowhichactsnotcontrarytolawmaybeperpetratedwithimpunity,
isnotlimitlessforArticle21ofsaidCodeprovidesthat"anypersonwhowilfullycauseslossorinjurytoanotherina
mannerthatiscontrarytomorals,goodcustomsorpublicpolicyshallcompensatethelatterforthedamage."
TherecordrevealsthatonAugust23,1954plaintiffanddefendantappliedforalicensetocontractmarriage,whichwas
subsequently issued (Exhs. A, A1). Their wedding was set for September 4, 1954. Invitations were printed and
distributedtorelatives,friendsandacquaintances(Tsn.,5Exh.C).Thebridetobe'strousseau,partydrsrsesandother
apparelfortheimportantoccasionwerepurchased(Tsn.,78).Dressesforthemaidofhonorandtheflowergirlwere
prepared.Amatrimonialbed,withaccessories,wasbought.Bridalshowersweregivenandgiftsreceived(Tsn.,6Exh.
E). And then, with but two days before the wedding, defendant, who was then 28 years old,: simply left a note for
plaintiff stating: "Will have to postpone wedding My mother opposes it ... " He enplaned to his home city in
Mindanao,andthenextday,thedaybeforethewedding,hewiredplaintiff:"Nothingchangedrestassuredreturning
soon."Butheneverreturnedandwasneverheardfromagain.
Surely this is not a case ofmerebreach of promise to marry. As stated, mere breach of promise to marry is not an
actionablewrong.Buttoformallysetaweddingandgothroughalltheabovedescribedpreparationandpublicity,only
towalkoutofitwhenthematrimonyisabouttobesolemnized,isquitedifferent.Thisispalpablyandunjustifiably
contrary to good customs for which defendant must be held answerable in damages in accordance with Article 21
aforesaid.
Defendanturgesinhisaforestatedpetitionthatthedamagesawardedwereexcessive.Noquestionisraisedastothe
award of actual damages. What defendant would really assert hereunder is that the award of moral and exemplary
damages,intheamountofP25,000.00,shouldbetotallyeliminated.
Per express provision of Article 2219 (10) of the New Civil Code, moral damages are recoverable in the cases
mentioned in Article 21 of said Code. As to exemplary damages, defendant contends that the same could not be
adjudgedagainsthimbecauseunderArticle2232oftheNewCivilCodetheconditionprecedentisthat"thedefendant
actedinawanton,fraudulent,reckless,oppressive,ormalevolentmanner."Theargumentisdevoidofmeritasunder
the abovenarrated circumstances of this case defendant clearly acted in a "wanton ... , reckless [and] oppressive
manner." This Court's opinion, however, is that considering the particular circumstances of this case, P15,000.00 as
moralandexemplarydamagesisdeemedtobeareasonableaward.
PREMISESCONSIDERED,withtheaboveindicatedmodification,thelowercourt'sjudgmentisherebyaffirmed,with
costs.
Bengzon,C.J.,BautistaAngelo,Reyes,J.B.L.,Barrera,Paredes,Dizon,Regala,Makalintal,andZaldivar,JJ.,concur
APOLONIOTANJANCO,petitioner,
vs.
HON.COURTOFAPPEALSandARACELISANTOS,respondents.
REYES,J.B.L.,J.:
Appeal from a decision of the Court of Appeals (in its Case No. 27210R) revoking an order of the Court of First
InstanceofRizal(inCivilCaseNo.Q4797)dismissingappellant'sactionforsupportanddamages.
Theessentialallegationsofthecomplaintaretotheeffectthat,fromDecember,1957,thedefendant(appelleeherein),
Apolonio Tanjanco, courted the plaintiff, Araceli Santos, both being of adult age that "defendant expressed and
professed his undying love and affection for plaintiff who also in due time reciprocated the tender feelings" that in
consideration of defendant's promise of marriage plaintiff consented and acceded to defendant's pleas for carnal
knowledgethatregularlyuntilDecember1959,throughhisprotestationsofloveandpromisesofmarriage,defendant
succeededinhavingcarnalaccesstoplaintiff,asaresultofwhichthelatterconceivedachildthatduetoherpregnant
condition,toavoidembarrassmentandsocialhumiliation,plaintiffhadtoresignherjobassecretaryinIBMPhilippines,
Inc.,whereshewasreceivingP230.00amonththattherebyplaintiffbecameunabletosupportherselfandherbaby
thatduetodefendant'srefusaltomarryplaintiff,aspromised,thelattersufferedmentalanguish,besmirchedreputation,
wounded feelings, moral shock, and social humiliation. The prayer was for a decree compelling the defendant to

recognizetheunbornchildthatplaintiffwasbearingtopayhernotlessthanP430.00amonthforhersupportandthat
ofherbaby,plusP100,000.00inmoralandexemplarydamages,plusP10,000.00attorney'sfees.
Upon defendant's motion to dismiss, the court of first instance dismissed the complaint for failure to state a cause of
action.
PlaintiffSantosdulyappealedtotheCourtofAppeals,andthelatterultimatelydecidedthecase,holdingwiththelower
courtthatnocauseofactionwasshowntocompelrecognitionofachildasyetunborn,norforitssupport,butdecreed
thatthecomplaintdidstateacauseofactionfordamages,premisedonArticle21oftheCivilCodeofthePhilippines,
prescribingasfollows:
ART. 21. Any person who wilfully causes loss or injury to another in a manner that is contrary to morals,
goodcustomsorpublicpolicyshallcompensatethelatterforthedamage.
The Court of Appeals, therefore, entered judgment setting aside the dismissal and directing the court of origin to
proceedwiththecase.
Defendant,inturn,appealedtothisCourt,pleadingthatactionsforbreachofapromisetomarryarenotpermissiblein
this jurisdiction, and invoking the rulings of this Court inEstopa vs. Piansay, L14733, September 30,
1960Hermosisimavs.CourtofAppeals,L14628,January29,1962andDeJesusvs.SyQuia,58Phil.886.
Wefindthisappealmeritorious.
In holding that the complaint stated a cause of action for damages, under Article 21 above mentioned, the Court of
AppealsrelieduponandquotedfromthememorandumsubmittedbytheCodeCommissiontotheLegislaturein1949
to support the original draft of the Civil Code. Referring to Article 23 of the draft (now Article 21 of the Code), the
Commissionstated:
ButtheCodeCommissionhasgonefartherthanthesphereofwrongsdefinedordeterminedbypositivelaw.
Fully sensible that there are countless gaps in the statutes, which leave so many victims of moral wrongs
helpless,eventhoughtheyhaveactuallysufferedmaterialandmoralinjury,theCommissionhasdeemedit
necessary,intheinterestofjustice,toincorporateintheproposedCivilCodethefollowingrule:
"ART.23.Anypersonwhowilfullycauseslossorinjurytoanotherinamannerthatiscontraryto
morals,goodcustomsorpublicpolicyshallcompensatethelatterforthedamage."
Anexamplewillillustratethepurviewoftheforegoingnorm:"A"seducesthenineteenyearolddaughterof
"X".Apromiseofmarriageeitherhasnotbeenmade,orcannotbeproved.Thegirlbecomespregnant.Under
thepresentlaws,thereisnocrime,asthegirlisaboveeighteenyearsofage.Neithercananycivilactionfor
breachofpromiseofmarriagebefiled.Therefore,thoughthegrievousmoralwronghasbeencommitted,and
thoughthegirlandherfamilyhavesufferedincalculablemoraldamage,sheandherparentscannotbringany
actionfordamages.Butundertheproposedarticle,sheandherparentswouldhavesucharightofaction.
The Court of Appeals seems to have overlooked that the example set forth in the Code Commission's memorandum
referstoatortuponaminorwhohasbeenseduced.Theessentialfeatureisseduction,thatinlawismorethanmere
sexualintercourse,orabreachofapromiseofmarriageitconnotesessentiallytheideaofdeceit,enticement,superior
powerorabuseofconfidenceonthepartoftheseducertowhichthewomanhasyielded(U.S.vs.Buenaventura,27
Phil.121U.S.vs.Arlante,9Phil.595).
IthasbeenruledintheBuenaventuracase(supra)that
Toconstituteseductiontheremustinallcasesbesomesufficientpromiseorinducementandthewomanmust
yieldbecauseofthepromiseorotherinducement.Ifsheconsentsmerelyfromcarnallustandtheintercourse
is from mutual desire, there is no seduction (43 Cent. Dig. tit. Seduction, par. 56). She must be induced to
departfromthepathofvirtuebytheuseofsomespeciesofarts,persuasionsandwiles,whicharecalculated
to have and do have that effect, and which result in her ultimately submitting her person to the sexual
embracesofherseducer(27Phil.123).
AndinAmericanJurisprudencewefind:
Ontheotherhand,inanactionbythewoman,theenticement,persuasionordeceptionistheessenceofthe
injuryandamereproofofintercourseisinsufficienttowarrantarecover.
Accordinglyitisnotseductionwherethewillingnessarisesoutofsexualdesireorcuriosityofthefemale,and
thedefendantmerelyaffordshertheneededopportunityforthecommissionoftheact.Ithasbeenemphasized

thattoallowarecoveryinallsuchcaseswouldtendtothedemoralizationofthefemalesex,andwouldbea
rewardforunchastitybywhichaclassofadventuresseswouldbeswifttoprofit."(47Am.Jur.662)
Bearingtheseprinciplesinmind,letusexaminethecomplaint.Thematerialallegationsthereareasfollows:
I.Thattheplaintiffisoflegalage,single,andresidingat56SouthE.Diliman,QuezonCity,whiledefendant
isalsooflegalage,singleandresidingat525PadreFaura,Manila,wherehemaybeservedwithsummons
II.ThattheplaintiffandthedefendantbecameacquaintedwitheachothersometimeinDecember,1957and
soonthereafter,thedefendantstartedvisitingandcourtingtheplaintiff
III. That the defendant's visits were regular and frequent and in due time the defendant expressed and
professedhisundyingloveandaffectionfortheplaintiffwhoalsoinduetimereciprocatedthetenderfeelings
IV.Thatinthecourseoftheirengagement,theplaintiffandthedefendantasarewontofyoungpeopleinlove
hadfrequentoutingsanddates,becameverycloseandintimatetoeachotherandsometimeinJuly,1958,in
consideration of the defendant's promises of marriage, the plaintiff consented and acceded to the former's
earnestandrepeatedpleastohavecarnalknowledgewithhim
V.ThatsubsequenttheretoandregularlyuntilaboutJuly,1959exceptforashortperiodinDecember,1958
whenthedefendantwasoutofthecountry,thedefendantthroughhisprotestationsofloveandpromisesof
marriagesucceededinhavingcarnalknowledgewiththeplaintiff
VI.Thatasaresultoftheirintimaterelationship,theplaintiffstartedconceivingwhichwasconfirmedbya
doctorsometimeinJuly,1959
VII.Thatuponbeingcertainofherpregnantcondition,theplaintiffinformedthedefendantandpleadedwith
himtomakegoodhispromisesofmarriage,butinsteadofhonoringhispromisesandrightinghiswrong,the
defendantstoppedandrefrainedfromseeingtheplaintiffsinceaboutJuly,1959hasnotvisitedtheplaintiff
andtoallintentsandpurposeshasbrokentheirengagementandhispromises.
Overandabovethepartisanallegations,thefactsstandoutthatforonewholeyear,from1958to1959,theplaintiff
appellee,awomanofadultage,maintainedintimatesexualrelationswithappellant,withrepeatedactsofintercourse.
Suchconductisincompatiblewiththeideaofseduction.Plainlythereisherevoluntarinessandmutualpassionforhad
theappellantbeendeceived,hadshesurrenderedexclusivelybecauseofthedeceit,artfulpersuasionsandwilesofthe
defendant,shewouldnothaveagainyieldedtohisembraces,muchlessforoneyear,withoutexactingearlyfulfillment
oftheallegedpromisesofmarriage,andwouldhavecutchartallsexualrelationsuponfindingthatdefendantdidnot
intendtofulfillhispromises.Hence,weconcludethatnocaseismadeunderArticle21oftheCivilCode,andnoother
causeofactionbeingalleged,noerrorwascommittedbytheCourtofFirstInstanceindismissingthecomplaint.
Ofcourse,thedismissalmustbeunderstoodaswithoutprejudicetowhateveractionsmaycorrespondtothechildofthe
plaintiff against the defendantappellant, if any. On that point, this Court makes no pronouncement, since the child's
ownrightsarenothereinvolved.
FORTHEFOREGOINGREASONS,thedecisionoftheCourtofAppealsisreversed,andthatoftheCourtofFirst
Instanceisaffirmed.Nocosts.
Concepcion,C.J.,Barrera,Dizon,Regala,Makalintal,Bengzon,J.P.,Zaldivar,SanchezandCastro,JJ.,concur.
ANTONIAL.DEJESUS,ETAL.,plaintiffappellant,
vs.
CESARSYQUIA,defendantappellant.
STREET,J.:
ThisactionwasinstitutedintheCourtofFirstInstanceofManilabyAntoniaLoancodeJesusinherownrightandby
hermother,PilarMarquez,asnextfriendandrepresentativeofIsmaelandPacitaLoanco,infants,childrenofthefirst
namedplaintiff,forthepurposeofrecoveringfromthedefendant,CesarSyquia,thesumofthirtythousandpesosas
damagesresultingtothefirstnamedplaintifffrombreachofamarriagepromise,tocompelthedefendanttorecognize
Ismael and Pacita as natural children begotten by him with Antonia, and to pay for the maintenance of the three the
amountoffivehundredpesospermonth,togetherwithcosts.Uponhearingthecause,afteranswerofthedefendant,the
trialcourterredadecreerequiringthedefendanttorecognizeIsmaelLoancoashisnaturalchildandtopaymaintenance
forhimattherateoffiftypesospermonth,withcosts,dismissingtheactioninotherrespects.Fromthisjudgmentboth
parties appealed, the plaintiffs from so much of the decision as denied part of the relief sought by them, and the

defendant from that feature of the decision which required him to recognize Ismael Loanco and to pay for his
maintenance.
Atthetimewithwhichwearehereconcerned,thedefendant,CesarSyquiawasoftheageoftwentythreeyears,andan
unmarried scion of the prominent family in Manila, being possessed of a considerable property in his own right. His
brotherinlaw,VicenteMendozaistheownerofabarbershopinTondo,wherethedefendantwasaccustomedtogofor
tonsorialattention.InthemonthofJuneAntoniaLoanco,alikelyunmarriedgirloftheageoftwentyyears,wastaken
onascashierinthisbarbershop.Syquiawasnotlonginmakingheracquaintanceandamorousrelationsresulted,asa
consequenceofwhichAntoniawasgottenwithchildandababyboywasbornonJune17,1931.Thedefendantwasa
constant visitor at the home of Antonia in the early months of her pregnancy, and in February, 1931, he wrote and
placedinherhandsanotedirectedtothepadrewhohasexpectedtochristenthebaby.Thisnotewasasfollows:
Saturday,1:30p.m.
February14,1931
Rev.FATHER,
ThebabydueinJuneismineandIshouldlikeformynametobegiventoit.
CESARSYQUIA
TheoccasionforwritingthisnotewasthatthedefendantwasontheeveofhisdepartureonatriptoChinaandJapan
andwhilehewasabroadonthisvisithewroteseveralletterstoAntoniashowingapaternalinterestinthesituationthat
haddevelopedwithher,andcautioninghertokeepingoodconditioninorderthat"junior"(meaningthebabytobe,
"Syquia, Jr.") might be strong, and promising to return to them soon. The baby arrived at the time expected, and all
necessary anticipatory preparations were made by the defendant. To this he employed his friend Dr. Crescenciano
Talaveratoattendatthebirth,andmadearrangementsforthehospitalizationofthemotherinSaintJoseph'sHospitalof
theCityofManila,whereshewascaredforduringconfinement.
When Antonio was able to leave the hospital, Syquia took her, with her mother and the baby, to a house at No. 551
Camarines Street, Manila, where they lived together for about a year in regular family style, all household expenses,
includinggasandelectriclight,beingdefrayedbySyquia.Incourseoftime,however,thedefendant'sardorabatedand,
whenAntoniabegantoshowsignsofasecondpregnancythedefendantdecamped,andheisnowmarriedtoanother
woman.Apointthatshouldherebenotedisthatwhenthetimecameforchristeningthechild,thedefendant,whohad
charge of the arrangement for this ceremony, caused the name Ismael Loanco to be given to him, instead of Cesar
Syquia,Jr.,aswasatfirstplanned.
Thefirstquestionthatispresentedinthecaseiswhetherthenotetothepadre,quotedabove,inconnectionwiththe
letters written by the defendant to the mother during pregnancy, proves an acknowledgment of paternity, within the
meaning of subsection 1 of article 135 of the Civil Code. Upon this point we have no hesitancy in holding that the
acknowledgment thus shown is sufficient. It is a universal rule of jurisprudence that a child, upon being conceived,
becomesabeareroflegalrightsandcapableofbeingdealtwithasalivingperson.Thefactthatitisyetunbornisno
impediment to the acquisition of rights. The problem here presented of the recognition of unborn child is really not
differentfromthatpresentedintheordinarycaseoftherecognitionofachildalreadybornandbearingaspecificname.
Onlythemeansandresourcesofidentificationaredifferent.Evenabequesttoalivingchildrequiresoralevidenceto
connecttheparticularindividualintendedwiththenameused.
Itiscontendedhowever,inthepresentcasethatthewordsofdescriptionusedinthewritingsbeforeusarenotlegally
sufficienttoindemnifythechildnowsuingasIsmaelLoanco.Thiscontentionisnot,inouropinion,wellfounded.The
wordsofrecognitioncontainedinthenotetothepadrearenotcapableoftwoconstructions.Theyrefertoababythen
conceivedwhichwasexpectedtobeborninJuneandwhichwouldthereafterbepresentedforchristening.Thebaby
came,andthoughitwasintheendgiventhenameofIsmaelLoancoinsteadofCesarSyquia,Jr.,itsidentityasthechild
whichthedefendantintendedtoacknowledgeisclear.Anydoubtthatmightariseonthispointisremovedbytheletters
ExhibitF,G,H,andJ.IntheselettersthedefendantmakesrepeatedreferencetojuniorasthebabywhichAntonia,to
whomtheletterswereaddressed,wasthencarryinginherwomb,andthewriterurgedAntoniatoeatwithgoodappetite
inorderthatjuniormightbevigorous.Inthelastletter(ExhibitJ)writtenonlyafewdaysbeforethebirthofthechild,
thedefendanturgedhertotakegoodcareofherselfandofjunioralso.
Itseemstousthattheonlylegalquestionthatcanhereariseastothesufficiencyofacknowledgmentiswhetherthe
acknowledgmentcontemplatedinsubsection1ofarticle135oftheCivilCodemustbemadeinasingledocumentor

maybemadeinmorethanonedocument,ofindubitableauthenticity,writtenbytherecognizingfather.Uponthispoint
we are of the opinion that the recognition can be made out by putting together the admissions of more than one
document,supplementingtheadmissionmadeinoneletterbyanadmissionoradmissionsmadeinanother.Inthecase
before us the admission of paternity is contained in the note to thepadreand the other letters suffice to connect that
admissionwiththechildthenbeingcarriedbyAntoniaL.deJesus.Thereisnorequirementinthelawthatthewriting
shallbeaddressedtoone,oranyparticularindividual.Itismerelyrequiredthatthewritingshallbeindubitable.
ThesecondquestionthatpresentsitselfinthiscaseiswhetherthetrialcourterredinholdingthatIsmaelLoancohad
beenintheuninterruptedpossessionofthestatusofanaturalchild,justifiedbytheconductofthefatherhimself,and
thatasaconsequence,thedefendantinthiscaseshouldbecompelledtoacknowledgethesaidIsmaelLoanco,under
No.2ofarticle135oftheCivilCode.Thefactsalreadystatedaresufficient,inouropinion,tojustifytheconclusionof
thetrialcourtonthispoint,andwemayaddherethatourconclusionuponthefirstbranchofthecasethatthedefendant
hadacknowledgedthischildinwritingsabovereferredtomustbetakeninconnectionwiththefactsfoundbythecourt
upon the second point. It is undeniable that from the birth of this child the defendant supplied a home for it and the
mother, in which they lived together with the defendant. This situation continued for about a year, and until Antonia
becameencienteasecondtime,whentheideaenteredthedefendant'sheadofabandoningher.Thelawfixesnoperiod
duringwhichachildmustbeinthecontinuouspossessionofthestatusofanaturalchildandtheperiodinthiscasewas
longenoughtoevincethefather'sresolutiontoconcedethestatus.Thecircumstancethatheabandonedthemotherand
childshortlybeforethisactionwasstartedisunimportant.Theword"continuous"insubsection2ofarticle135ofthe
Civil Code does not mean that the concession of status shall continue forever, but only that it shall not be of an
intermittentcharacterwhileitcontinues.
What has been said disposes of the principal feature of the defendant's appeal. With respect to the appeal of the
plaintiffs, we are of the opinion that the trial court was right in refusing to give damages to the plaintiff, Antonia
Loanco,forsupposedbreachofpromisetomarry.Suchpromiseisnotsatisfactorilyproved,andwemayaddthatthe
actionforbreachofpromisetomarryhasnostandinginthecivillaw,apartfromtherighttorecovermoneyorproperty
advancedbytheplaintiffuponthefaithofsuchpromise.Thiscaseexhibitsnoneofthefeaturesnecessarytomaintain
such an action. Furthermore, there is no proof upon which a judgment could be based requiring the defendant to
recognizethesecondbaby,PacitaLoanco.
Finally,weseenonecessityorproprietyinmodifyingthejudgmentastotheamountofthemaintenancewhichthetrial
courtallowedtoIsmaelLoanco.Andinthisconnectionwemerelypointoutthat,asconditionschange,theCourtof
FirstInstancewillhavejurisdictiontomodifytheorderastotheamountofthepensionascircumstanceswillrequire.
Thejudgmentappealedfromisinallrespectsaffirmed,withoutcosts.Soordered.
Malcolm,AbadSantos,Hull,Vickers,andbutte,JJ.,concur.
SeparateOpinions
VILLAREAL,J.,dissenting:
The majority opinion is predicated on two grounds: First, that the defendantappellant Cesar Syquia has expressly
acknowledgedhispaternityofthechildIsmaelLoancoinanindubitablewritingofhisandsecondly,thatsaidchildhas
enjoyedtheuninterruptedpossessionofthestatusofanaturalsonofsaiddefendantappellantCesarSyquia,justifiedby
hisacts,asrequiredbyarticle135oftheCivilCode.
ThefirstconclusionisdrawnfromExhibitsC,F,G,H,andJ.
ExhibitC,whichisinthehandwritingofanysignedbythedefendantappellantCesarSyquia,readsasfollows:
Sabado,1.30p.m.14febrero,1931
Rev.PADRE:
Lacriaturaquevendraeljunioesmioyqueyoquisieraminombrequesedealacriatura.
(Fdo.)CESARSYQUIA
Exhibit F, G, H, and j, which are letters written by the said defendantappellant Cesar Syquia to plaintiffappellee
AntoniaL.deJesuspriortothebirthofthechildcontainthefollowingexpressions:
Exhibit F, Feb. 18, 1931: "No hagas nada malo ni manches mi nombre y el dejuniortambien no lo manches. A
cuerdatemuybienToniqueesportiyporjuniorvolvereallipronto...."

ExhibitG.Feb.24,1931:"Toniporfavorcuidabienajunioreh?...."
ExhibitH,March25,1931:"Toni,cuidatubienajuniorycuidatebien,ycometumucho....."
ExhibitJ,June1,1931:"Cuidatebienyjuniortambien...."
Article135,number1,providesasfollows:
ART.135.Thefathermaybecompelledtoacknowledgehisnaturalchildinthefollowingcases:
1.Whenanindisputablepaperwrittenbyhim,expresslyacknowledginghispaternity,isinexistence.
Maresa(CodigoCivil,Vol.1,page596,4thed.)commentingonsaidarticle,says:
Con arreglo al articulo que comentamos, no puede haber cuestion acerca de si es posible admitir por otro
mediolapruebadelapaternidadnatural.Entendemosqueno,porquelelarticuloesterminanteylaintencion
delaleymasterminanteaun.Seestablecioenlabase5.aque"noseadmitirainvestigaciondelapaternidad
sino en los casos de delito, o cuando exista escrito del padre en el que conste su voluntad indubitada de
reconocerporsuyoalhijo,deliberadamenteexpresadaconesefin,ocuandomedieposesiondeestado",yesto
mismoesloqueseordenaenelpresentearticulo.
Nopuede,pues,prosperarlademandaparaobligaralpadrealreconocimientodeunhijonatural,aunquesolo
se limite a pedir alimentos, si no se funda en el reconocimiento expreso del padre hecho por escrito, en la
posesion constante de estado de hijo natural o en sentencia firme recaida en causa por de delito violacin,
estuproorapto.Elescritoylasentenciahabrandeacompaarsealademandada,ynopuedeadmitirseotra
prueba que la conducente a justificar que el escrito es indubitadamente del padre que en el reconozca su
paternidad, o la relativa a los actos directos del mismo padre o de su familia, que demuestren la posesion
continuadedichoestado.Paralapruebadeestosdoshechospodranutilizarsetodoslosmediosquepermitela
Ley de Enjuiciamiento Civil, debiendo el juez rechazar la que por cualquier otro concepto se dirija a la
investigaciondelapaternidad.
xxxxxxxxx
En cuanto al otro requisito de ser expreso el reconocimiento, tengase presente que no basta hacerlo por
incidenciaesindespensablequeseconsigneenelescritolavoluntadindubitada,clarayterminantedelpadre,
dereconocerporsuyoalhijo,deliberadamenteexpresadaconestefin,comoseordenaanlabase5.aantes
citada,delasaprobadasporlaLeyde11demayode1888desuertequeelescrito,aunquecontengaotros
particulares,comosucedeenlostestamentos,hadetenerporobjectoelreconocimientodeliberadoyexpreso
del hijo natural. No llena, pues, ese objecto la manifestacion que incidentalmente haga el padre de ser hijo
naturalsuyolapersonaaquienserefiera,ymuchomenoseldaraunapersonaeltituloytratamientodehijo
en cartas familiares. Sin embrago, en cada caso decidiran los un modo suficientemente expresivo la
paternidad,serviradebaseparaacreditar,enunionconotrosdatos,laposesioncontantedelestadodelhijoa
losefectosdeestearticulo,yconarregloasunumero2.
Letitfirstbenotedthatthelawprohibitstheinvestigationofpaternity(BorresandBarzavs.MunicipalityofPanay,42
Phil.,643Donadovs.MenendezDonado,55Phil.,861).Theonlyexceptionstothisrulearethoseestablishedinarticle
135oftheCivilCodequotedabove,thefirstofwhichisthatthefathermaybecompelledtoacknowledgehispaternity,
"When an indubitable writing of his exists in which he expressly acknowledge his paternity." The writing that is
requiredbysaidprovisionmustbecompleteinitselfandbyitself,andmustcontainallthestatementsthatarenecessary
toconstituteafullandclearacknowledgmentbyafatherofhispaternityofachild,inorderthatitmayserveasabasis
forcompellinghimtoacknowledgesaidchildshouldbeafterwardsdenyhispaternity.Ifseveralwritingsputtogether,
each not being complete in itself, should be necessary in order to obtain a full and complete expression of
acknowledgment by a father of his paternity of a child, the general prohibition to investigate paternity would be
violated.
By the mere reading of all said letters, the one addressed to a priest and the others to the herein plaintiffappellee,
AntoniaL.deJesus,thereadercannotascertainwhichisthe"creaturethatiscomingonJune",whichthedefendant
appellant,CesarSyquia,saysinthesaidletteraddressedtothepriestishis,norwhoisthe"junior"thatherecommends
to said Antonia L. de Jesus to take good care of, as there is nothing in anyone of said letters from which it may be
inferredthatAntoniaL.deJesuswasencienteatthetime,thatthe"junior"wasthebeingshewascarryinginherwomb,
and that it was the "creature that is coming in June." To connect all these facts it was necessary to prove that Cesar

SyquiahadhadillicitrelationswithAntoniaL.deJesus,thatasaresultofsuchrelationsthewomanbecamepregnant,
andthatshegavebirthtoaboyinJune1931.AllthiscertainlyconstitutesaninvestigationofthepaternityofCesar
Syquiaofsaidchildoutsideofthedocuments,whichisprohibitedbylaw.
Either taken alone therefore, or in connection with Exhibits F, G, H, and J, Exhibit C is insufficient to constitute a
"indubitablewritingofCesarSyquia,inwhichheexpresslyacknowledgeshispaternityofthechildIsmaelLoanco,"as
requiredbynumber1ofarticle135oftheCivilCode.
Astothesecondgroundofthedecisionofthemajority,number2ofarticle135oftheCivilCodeprovides:
ART.135.Thefathermaybecompelledtoacknowledgehisnaturalchildinthefollowingcases:
xxxxxxxxx
2. When the child has been in the uninterrupted possession of the status of a natural child of the defendant
father,justifiedbytheconductofthefatherhimselforthatofhisfamily.
ThemajoritydecisionbasesitsconnectiononthesecondpointonExhibitsC,F,G,H,andJandthefollowingfacts,as
foundbythelowercourtinitsdecision:
Cuando la demandante Antonia L. de Jesus estaba para dar a luz, el demandado Cesar Syquia llamo a su
comprovincianoDr.CrescencianoTalavera,medicoqueentoncesejerciasuprofesionenlaCiudaddeManila,
paraqueasistieraaaquellaensupartoyaeseefectollevoalademandanteAntoniaL.deJesusacompaado
delDr.TalaveraalHospitalSanJose,deestaCiudad,dondeelladioaluzel17dejuniode1931asistidapor
dichoDr.Talavera,quefirmoelcertificadodenecimientoExhibitE.
Despues del nacimiento del demandante Ismael Loanco, el demandado estuvo viviendo con este y con la
demandante Antonio L. de Jesus en la casa No. 551 de la Calle Camarines, Manila, entregando a dicha
demandanteeldineroparalosgastosdecasayelpagodelconsumodegasyluzelectrica,habiendofirmado
elcontratoparaelsuministrodelfluidoelectricoendichacasa.
Exhibit, C, F, G, H, and J, are inadmissible in evidence the purpose of showing that Ismael Loanco has enjoyed the
continuouspossessionofthestatusofanaturalchild,becausebeingofpriordatetothebirthofsaidchildtheycannot
beconsideredasdirectactsofCesarSyquiashowingpossessionofthestatusofnaturalchild,asnohumanbeingcan
enjoysuchpossessionuntilhebebornwithlegalcapacityforacquiringcivilrights(Infantevs.Figueras,4Phil.,738
Granadosvs.Leynes,G.R.No.31224,promulgatedSeptember9,1929,notreported).
ItmustalsobestatedthatCesarSyquiarefusedtoallowhisnametobegiventothechildIsmaelwhenitwasbaptized,
sothatthenameofitsmother,Loanco,hadtobegiventoit.
Thefactswhichwerefoundbythecourtbelowtohavebeenprovedbythetestimonyofthewitnessesduringthetrial,
arenotsufficienttoconstitutetheuninterruptedpossessionofthestatusofIsmaelLoancoasnaturalchildofsaidCesar
Syquia,inthelightofthefollowingauthorities:
InthecaseofBuenaventuravs.Urbano(5Phil.,1,9),thiscourtsaid:
...ConfiningourselvestotheactsprovedtohavebeenperformedbyDonTelesforo,wefindthathevisited
the mother of the plaintiff that he paid money for her support that he paid money for the support of the
plaintiffthatheholdonewitnessthattheplaintiffwashissonthattheplaintiffcalledhim"Papa,"andthat
DonTelesforoansweredtothisdesignationthatwhentheplaintiffvisitedDonTelesforohekissedhishand
that Don Telesforo wrote letters to him that he paid his fees for instruction in school, and secured him a
positioninacommercialhouse.
xxxxxxxxx
All these facts taken together are not sufficient to show that plaintiff possesses continuously the status of a
naturalchild.TheymayhaveatendencytoshowthatDonTelesforowasthefatherofthechild,butthatitis
notsufficient.Itisnotsufficientthatthefatherrecognizethechildashis.Bytheexpresstermsofarticle135
thatrecognitionmustappeareitherinwriting,madebythefather,oritmustappearinactswhichshowthat
the son has possessed continuously the status of a natural child. No recognition by the father of the child
which comes short of the requirements of these two paragraphs is sufficient. It must appear that it was the
intention of the father to recognize the child as to give him that status, and that the acts performed by him
weredonewiththatintention.
Manresa(CodigoCivil,Vol.1,page602,4thed.)incitingsomedecisionsoftheSupremeCourtofSpainsays:

En la sentencia de 5 de junio de 1906 declarase que para justificar la posesion de estado de hijo natural se
requierequelosactosseandetalnaturalezaquerevelen,alavezqueelconvencimientodelapaternidad,la
voluntad ostensible de tener y tratar al hijo como tal en las relaciones sociales y de la vida, y esto no
accidentalmente, sino continuedamente, porque en tal supuesto los actos tiene el mismo valor que el
reconocimientoexpreso.lawphil.net
Enelmismocriteriorestrictivoseinspiralade12deoctubrede1907,queestimaqueelhechodequedos
nodrizas criaron a otros tantos nios, sufragando el gasto el demandado, quien ademas iba a casa de la
demandante,losbesada,losllamabahijosyencargabaparalosmismoselmayorcuidadoeldequesubvenia
alasnecesidadesdelamadreydelosseishijosquelanacieron,elprimerodeloscualessellamabacomoel
padre y el de que los porteros de la casa donde vivio la actora sabian que el finado visitaba a esta, se
lamentabadelamuchafamiliaqueteniayeratenidoenelconceptopublicocomopadredelosmenores,no
sonsuficientesparafundarladeclaraciondepaternidad,puesnoeslegalconfundiractosquepuedanrevelar
masomenoslapresuncionoconvencimientoenqueunapersonaestedesupaternidadconrelacionahijos
naturales,conlosquedemuestrensupropositodeponeraestoshijosenlaposesiondetalestado.
It will thus be seen from the foregoing discussion and authorities that the herein defendantappellant Cesar Syquia
cannotbecompelledtoacknowledgethechildIsmaelLoancoashisnaturalsonbecausethereexistsnotanindubitable
writingofhisinwhichheexpresslyacknowledgeshispaternityofsaidchild,andbecausethesaidchildhasnotenjoyed
theuninterruptedpossessionofthestatusofanaturalchildofthesaid
defendantappellant,justifiedbyhisownconductorthatofhisfamily,asrequiredbyarticle135oftheCivilCode.
Thedecisionappealedfromshould,therefore,bereversedandthecomplaintdismissed.
Avancea,C.J.andImperial,J.,concur.
SATURNINOSELANOVA,complainant,
vs.
ALEJANDROE.MENDOZA,CityJudgeofMandaueCity,respondent.
RESOLUTION
AQUINO,J.:+.wph!1
SaturninoSelanovachargedJudgeAlejandroE.MendozaofMandaueCitywithgrossignoranceofthelawforhaving
preparedandratifiedadocumentdatedNovember21,1972,extrajudiciallyliquidatingtheconjugalpartnershipofthe
complainantandhiswife,AvelinaCeniza.Oneconditionoftheliquidationwasthateitherspouse(asthecasemaybe)
wouldwithdrawthecomplaintforadulteryorconcubinagewhicheachhadfiledagainsttheotherandthattheywaived
their"righttoprosecuteeachotherforwhateveractsofinfidelity"eitheronewouldcommitagainsttheother.
JudgeMendozainhiscommentonthechargepurposedtoconveytheimpressionthathewasawareoftheinvalidityof
theagreementbutheneverthelessratifieditandgaveithisnihilobstatontheassuranceofthespousesthattheywould
asktheCourtofFirstInstanceofNegrosOriental(wheretheywereresiding)toapprovetheagreement.Thatpretension
isdisbelievedbytheJudicialConsultant.
RespondentJudgeallegedthathereliedontheprovisionthat"thehusbandandthewifemayagreeuponthedissolution
oftheconjugalpartnershipduringthemarriage,subjecttojudicialapproval"(Par.4,Art.191,CivilCode).
Hearguesthattogivetheprohibitionagainstanextrajudicialliquidationoftheconjugalpartnershipduringthemarriage
"anunqualifiedandliterallegalconstruction"wouldlendernugatorytheaforequotedprovisionsofarticle191.Hecites
Lacson vs. San JoseLacson, L23482, L23767 and L24259, August 30, 1968, 24 SCRA 837 as authority for the
proprietyofanextrajudicialagreementforthedissolutionduringthemarriageoftheconjugalpartnershipaslongasthe
agreementissubsequentlyapprovedbythecourt.
However,therespondentoverlookstheunmistakablerulingofthisCourtintheLacsoncasethatjudicialsanctionforthe
dissolutionoftheconjugalpartnershipduringthemarriageshouldbe"securedbeforehand."
RespondentJudgesurmisedthatSelanova'scomplaintwasinstigatedbyalawyerwhosecasewasadverselydecidedby
theJudge.ThatspeculationwasdeniedbySelanovawhoalsobeliedJudgeMendoza'sversionthatthecomplainantand
hiswife,AvelinaCeniza,"togetherwiththeirparents",cametotheofficeofJudgeMendozaandsolicitedhishelpinthe
amicablesettlementoftheirmaritalimbroglio.

AccordingtoSelanova,in1972hisfatherwasalreadydeadandhismotherwasninetyoneyearsold.Theycouldnot
possiblyhavecometoJudgeMendoza'soffice.Selanovasaidthatonlyheandhisbrotherinlaw,ArcadioCeniza,an
alleged classmate of Judge Mendoza, were the persons who went to the Judge's office. But that version may be
inaccurateandoversimplified,consideringthattheagreementwassignedbeforeJudgeMendozanotonlybySelanova
butalsobyhiswifeandtwowitnesses,LambertsM.CenizaandFlorencioC.Pono.
JudgeMendozaretiredonFebruary27,1975whenhereachedtheageofseventy.InhisletterofApril8,1975heasked
foracompassionateviewofhiscaseconsideringhisfortythreeyears'serviceinthegovernment(hestartedhispublic
careerin1932asapolicemanandbecameajusticeofthepeacein1954).Healsocitedthefinancialpredicamentofhis
bigfamilyoccasionedbythedelayinthepaymentofhisretirementandterminalleavepay.
ThecasewasnotreferredtoaJudgeoftheCourtofFirstInstanceforinvestigationbecauseactuallynofactualissues
necessitateahearingandpresentationofevidence.RespondentJudgeadmittedthathewasresponsiblefortheexecution
of the questioned document, an extrajudicial "Liquidation of Conjugal Properties", which he caused complainant
SaturninoSelanovaandhiswife,AvelinaCeniza,tosign.
InthatinstrumentJudgeMendozadividedthetwopiecesofconjugalassetsofthespousesbyallocatingtothehusband
a thirteenhectare riceland and to the wife the residential house and lot. The last paragraph of the instrument, which
licensed either spouse to commit any act of infidelity, was in effect a ratification of their personal separation. The
agreementinquestionisvoidbecauseitcontravenesthefollowingprovisionsoftheCivilCode:t.hqw
ART.221.Thefollowingshallbevoidandofnoeffect:
(1)Anycontractforpersonalseparationbetweenhusbandandwife
(2)Everyextrajudicialagreement,duringmarriage,forthedissolutionoftheconjugalpartnershipof
gainsoroftheabsolutecommunityofpropertybetweenhusbandandwife
xxxxxxxxx
Even before the enactment of the new Civil Code, this Court held that the extrajudicial dissolution of the conjugal
partnershipwithoutjudicialapprovalwasvoid(Quintanavs.Lerma,24Phil.285DeLunavs.Linatoc,74Phil.15,De
LaRosavs.Barruga,L2368,June30,1950,4ROPDigest171,sec.29).
Ontheotherhand,disciplinaryactionhadbeentakenagainstnotarieswhoauthenticatedagreementsforthepersonal
separationofspouseswhereineitherspousewaspermittedtocommitactsofinfidelity.
Thus, inPanganiban vs. Borromeo, 58 Phil. 367, a lawyer was severely censured for having notarized a document
containing "an agreement between the husband and the wife which permitted the husband to take unto himself a
concubineandthewifetoliveinadulterousrelationshipwithanotherman,withoutoppositionfromeitheroneofthem".
Thedocumentwaspreparedbyanotherperson.
InthatcasethisCourtnotedthatwhileadulteryandconcubinageareprivatecrimes,"theystillremaincrimes"anda
contractlegalizingtheircommissionis"contrarytolaw,moralsandpublicorder,andasaconsequencenotjudicially
recognizable".Sincethenotary'scommissionwasalreadyrevoked,thisCourtdidnotdisbarhim.Thefactthathe"may
nothaverealizedthefullpurportofthedocumenttowhichhetookacknowledgment'wasconsideredmitigating.
Severe censure was also administered to a notary of Cebu City who ratified a document entitled "Legal Separation",
executedbyhusbandandwife,whereintheyagreedthattheyseparatedmutuallyandvoluntarily,thattheyrenounced
theirrightsandobligations,andthattheyauthorizedeachothertoremarry,renouncinganyactiontowhichtheymight
beentitledandeachpromisingnottobeawitnessagainsttheother.Thosecovenantsarecontrarytolaw,moralsand
goodcustomsandtendtosubvertthevitalfoundationofthelegitimatefamily(Bitonvs.Momongon,62Phil.7).
In theSantiagocase respondent lawyer prepared for a married couple (who had been separated for nine years) a
document wherein it was stipulated,inter alia, that they authorized each other to marry again, at the same time
renouncingwhateverrightofactiononemighthaveagainsttheother.Whenthehusbandinquirediftherewouldbeno
trouble,respondentlawyerpointedtohisdiplomawhichwashangingonthewallandsaid:"Iwouldtearthatoffifthis
documentturnsoutnottobevalid."Thehusbandremarried.Therespondentwassuspendedfromthepracticeoflawfor
oneyearforhavingbeenignorantofthelaworbeingcarelessingivinglegaladvice(InreSantiago,70Phil.66).
InBalinonvs.DeLeon,94Phil.277,AttorneyCelestinoM.deLeonpreparedanaffidavitwhereinhedeclaredthathe
wasmarriedtoVertudesMarquez,fromwhomhehadbeenseparated,theirconjugalpartnershiphavingbeendissolved,
andthathewasconsortingwithReginaS.Balinonhis"newfoundlifepartner,"towhomhewould"remainloyaland

faithful" "as a lawful and devoted loving husband for the rest of" his life "at all costs". Attorney Justo T. Velayo
notarized that affidavit. This Court reprimanded Velayo and suspended De Leon from the practice of law for three
years.
Intheinstantcase,respondentJudge,duetohisunawarenessofthelegalprohibitionagainstcontractsforthepersonal
separationofhusbandandwifeandfortheextrajudicialdissolutionoftheirconjugalpartnership,preparedthesaidvoid
agreement which was acknowledged before him as "City Judge and Notary PublicExOfficio". (Because he was
admittedtothebarin1948and,consequently,hedidnotstudythenewCivilCodeinthelawschool,hemightnothave
beencognizantofitsaforecitedarticle221).
Taking into account that circumstance and his apparent good faith and honest desire to terminate the marital conflict
betweenthecomplainantandhiswife,weareoftheopinionthatadrasticpenaltyshouldnotbeimposedonhim.Buthe
deservesaseverecensureforhismistakeinpreparingandnotarizingtheaforementionedimmoralandillegalagreement.
Suchseverereprimandshouldnotbeanobstacletohisenjoymentofretirementprivileges,assumingthatthereareno
causesfordeprivinghimofsuchbenefits.
WHEREFORE,therespondentisseverelycensured.
SOORDERED.
Fernando(Chairman),Barredo,AntonioandConcepcion,Jr.,JJ.,concur.1wph1.t
RODOLFOG.NAVARRO,complainant,vs.JUDGEHERNANDOC.DOMAGTOY,respondent.
DECISION
ROMERO,J.:
The complainant in this administrative case is the Municipal Mayor of Dapa, Surigao del Norte, Rodolfo G.
Navarro.He has submitted evidence in relation to two specific acts committed by respondent Municipal Circuit Trial
CourtJudgeHernandoDomagtoy,which,hecontends,exhibitsgrossmisconductaswellasinefficiencyinofficeand
ignoranceofthelaw.
First,onSeptember27,1994,respondentjudgesolemnizedtheweddingbetweenGasparA.TagadanandArlynF.
Borga,despitetheknowledgethatthegroomismerelyseparatedfromhisfirstwife.
Second,itisallegedthatheperformedamarriageceremonybetweenFlorianoDadorSumayloandGemmaG.del
Rosariooutsidehiscourt'sjurisdictiononOctober27,1994.Respondentjudgeholdsofficeandhasjurisdictioninthe
MunicipalCircuitTrialCourtofSta.MonicaBurgos,SurigaodelNorte.Theweddingwassolemnizedattherespondent
judge'sresidenceinthemunicipalityofDapa,whichdoesnotfallwithinhisjurisdictionalareaofthemunicipalitiesof
Sta.MonicaandBurgos,locatedsome40to45kilometersawayfromthemunicipalityofDapa,SurigaodelNorte.
InhislettercommenttotheOfficeoftheCourtAdministrator,respondentjudgeaversthattheofficeandnameof
theMunicipalMayorofDapahavebeenusedbysomeoneelse,who,asthemayor's"lackey,"isoverlyconcernedwith
hisactuationsbothasjudgeandasaprivateperson.ThesamepersonhadearlierfiledAdministrativeMatterNo.94
980MTC,whichwasdismissedforlackofmeritonSeptember15,1994,andAdministrativeMatterNo.OCAIPI95
16,"AntonioAdaponv.JudgeHernandoC.Domagtoy,"whichisstillpending.
Inrelationtothechargesagainsthim,respondentjudgeseeksexculpationfromhisactofhavingsolemnizedthe
marriagebetweenGasparTagadan,amarriedmanseparatedfromhiswife,andArlynF.Borgabystatingthathemerely
reliedontheAffidavitissuedbytheMunicipalTrialJudgeofBasey,Samar,confirmingthefactthatMr.Tagadanand
hisfirstwifehavenotseeneachotherforalmostsevenyears.[1]Withrespecttothesecondcharge,hemaintainsthatin
solemnizing the marriage between Sumaylo and del Rosario, he did not violate Article 7, paragraph 1 of the Family
Codewhichstatesthat:"Marriagemaybesolemnizedby:(1)Anyincumbentmemberofthejudiciarywithinthecourt's
jurisdictionandthatArticle8thereofappliestothecaseinquestion.
The complaint was not referred, as is usual, for investigation, since the pleadings submitted were considered
sufficientforaresolutionofthecase.[2]
Since the countercharges of sinister motives and fraud on the part of complainant have not been sufficiently
proven,theywillnotbedweltupon.Theactscomplainedofandrespondentjudge'sanswertheretowillsufficeandcan
beobjectivelyassessedbythemselvestoprovethelatter'smalfeasance.
ThecertifiedtruecopyofthemarriagecontractbetweenGasparTagadanandArlynBorgastatesthatTagadan's
civil status is "separated." Despite this declaration, the wedding ceremony was solemnized by respondent judge.He

presented in evidence a joint affidavit by Maurecio A. Labado, Sr. and Eugenio Bullecer, subscribed and sworn to
beforeJudgeDemosthenesC.Duquilla,MunicipalTrialJudgeofBasey,Samar.[3]Theaffidavitwasnotissuedbythe
latterjudge,asclaimedbyrespondentjudge,butmerelyacknowledgedbeforehim.Intheiraffidavit,theaffiantsstated
thattheyknewGasparTagadantohavebeencivillymarriedtoIdaD.PearandainSeptember1983thatafterthirteen
yearsofcohabitationandhavingbornefivechildren,IdaPearandalefttheconjugaldwellinginValencia,Bukidnonand
thatshehasnotreturnednorbeenheardofforalmostsevenyears,therebygivingrisetothepresumptionthatsheis
alreadydead.
Ineffect,JudgeDomagtoymaintainsthattheaforementionedjointaffidavitissufficientproofofIdaPearanda's
presumptivedeath,andamplereasonforhimtoproceedwiththemarriageceremony.Wedonotagree.
Article41oftheFamilyCodeexpresslyprovides:
"Amarriagecontractedbyanypersonduringthesubsistenceofapreviousmarriageshallbenullandvoid,unlessbefore
thecelebrationofthesubsequentmarriage,thepriorspousehadbeenabsentforfourconsecutiveyearsandthespouse
present had a wellfounded belief that the absent spouse was already dead.In case of disappearance where there is
dangerofdeathunderthecircumstancessetforthintheprovisionsofArticles391oftheCivilCode,anabsenceofonly
twoyearsshallbesufficient.
For the purpose of contracting the subsequent marriage under the preceding paragraph, the spouse presentmust
institute a summary proceeding as provided in this Code for the declaration of presumptive death of the
absentee,withoutprejudicetotheeffectofreappearanceoftheabsentspouse."(Emphasisadded.)
Thereisnothingambiguousordifficulttocomprehendinthisprovision.Infact,thelawisclearandsimple.Even
ifthespousepresenthasawellfoundedbeliefthattheabsentspousewasalreadydead,asummaryproceedingforthe
declaration of presumptive death is necessary in order to contract a subsequent marriage, a mandatory requirement
whichhasbeenpreciselyincorporatedintotheFamilyCodetodiscouragesubsequentmarriageswhereitisnotproven
thatthepreviousmarriagehasbeendissolvedoramissingspouseisfactuallyorpresumptivelydead,inaccordancewith
pertinentprovisionsoflaw.
Inthecaseatbar,GasparTagadandidnotinstituteasummaryproceedingforthedeclarationofhisfirstwife's
presumptive death.Absent this judicial declaration, he remains married to Ida Pearanda.Whether wittingly, or
unwittingly,itwasmanifesterroronthepartofrespondentjudgetohaveacceptedthejointaffidavitsubmittedbythe
groom.Suchneglectorignoranceofthelawhasresultedinabigamous,andthereforevoid,marriage.UnderArticle35
oftheFamilyCode,"Thefollowingmarriageshallbevoidfromthebeginning:(4)Thosebigamousxxxmarriagesnot
fallingunderArticle41."
Thesecondissueinvolvesthesolemnizationofamarriageceremonyoutsidethecourt'sjurisdiction,coveredby
Articles7and8oftheFamilyCode,thus:
"Art.7.Marriagemaybesolemnizedby:
(1)Anyincumbentmemberofthejudiciarywithinthecourt'sjurisdiction
xxxxxxxxx(Emphasissupplied.)
Art.8.Themarriageshallbesolemnizedpubliclyinthechambersofthejudgeorinopencourt,inthechurch,chapelor
temple,orintheofficeoftheconsulgeneral,consulorviceconsul,asthecasemaybe,andnotelsewhere,exceptin
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
solemnizedatahouseorplacedesignatedbytheminaswornstatementtothateffect."
Respondent judge points to Article 8 and its exceptions as the justifications for his having solemnized the
marriage between Floriano Sumaylo and Gemma del Rosario outside of his court's jurisdiction.As the aforequoted
provision states, a marriage can be held outside of the judge's chambers or courtroom only in the following
instances:(1)atthepointofdeath,(2)inremoteplacesinaccordancewithArticle29or(3)uponrequestofbothparties
inwritinginaswornstatementtothiseffect.ThereisnopretensethateitherSumayloordelRosariowasatthepointof
deathorinaremoteplace.Moreover,thewrittenrequestpresentedaddressedtotherespondentjudgewasmadebyonly
oneparty,GemmadelRosario.[4]
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 judiciarywithin the court's
jurisdiction."Article8,whichisadirectoryprovision,refersonlytothevenueofthemarriageceremonyanddoesnot
alter or qualify the authority of the solemnizing officer as provided in the preceding provision.Noncompliance
herewithwillnotinvalidatethemarriage.
Apriestwhoiscommissionedandallowedbyhislocalordinarytomarrythefaithful,isauthorizedtodosoonly
withintheareaofthedioceseorplaceallowedbyhisBishop.AnappellatecourtJusticeoraJusticeofthisCourthas
jurisdictionovertheentirePhilippinestosolemnizemarriages,regardlessofthevenue,aslongastherequisitesofthe
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,maysubjecttheofficiatingofficialtoadministrativeliability.[5]
Inasmuch as respondent judge's jurisdiction covers the municipalities of Sta. Monica and Burgos, he was not
clothedwithauthoritytosolemnizeamarriageinthemunicipalityofDapa,SurigaodelNorte.BycitingArticle8and
the exceptions therein as grounds for the exercise of his misplaced authority, respondent judge again demonstrated a
lackofunderstandingofthebasicprinciplesofcivillaw.
Accordingly, the Court finds respondent to have acted in gross ignorance of the law.The legal principles
applicable in the cases brought to our attention are elementary and uncomplicated, prompting us to conclude that
respondent'sfailuretoapplythemisduetoalackofcomprehensionofthelaw.
Thejudiciaryshouldbecomposedofpersonswho,ifnotexperts,areatleast,proficientinthelawtheyaresworn
to apply, more than the ordinary laymen.They should be skilled and competent in understanding and applying the
law.Itisimperativethattheybeconversantwithbasiclegalprinciplesliketheonesinvolvedininstantcase.[6]Itisnot
too much to expect them to know and apply the law intelligently.[7]Otherwise, the system of justice rests on a shaky
foundationindeed,compoundedbytheerrorscommittedbythosenotlearnedinthelaw.Whilemagistratesmayattimes
makemistakesinjudgment,forwhichtheyarenotpenalized,therespondentjudgeexhibitedignoranceofelementary
provisionsoflaw,inanareawhichhasgreatlyprejudicedthestatusofmarriedpersons.
The marriage between Gaspar Tagadan and Arlyn Borga is considered bigamous and void, there being a
subsistingmarriagebetweenGasparTagadanandIdaPearanda.
TheOfficeoftheCourtAdministratorrecommends,initsMemorandumtotheCourt,asixmonthsuspensionand
asternwarningthatarepetitionofthesameorsimilaractswillbedealtwithmoreseverely.Consideringthatoneofthe
marriagesinquestionresultedinabigamousunionandthereforevoid,andtheotherlackedthenecessaryauthorityof
respondentjudge,theCourtadoptssaidrecommendation.Respondentisadvisedtobemorecircumspectinapplyingthe
lawandtocultivateadeeperunderstandingofthelaw.
IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, respondent Judge Hernando C. Domagtoy is hereby SUSPENDED for a
periodofsix(6)monthsandgivenaSTERNWARNINGthatarepetitionofthesameorsimilaractswillbedealtwith
moreseverely.
SOORDERED.
Regalado(Chairman),Puno,Mendoza,andTorres,Jr.,JJ.,concur.
MERCEDITAMATAARAES,petitioner,vs.JUDGESALVADORM.OCCIANO,respondent.
DECISION
PUNO,J.:
PetitionerMerceditaMataAraeschargesrespondentjudgewithGrossIgnoranceoftheLawviaaswornLetter
Complaintdated23May2001.RespondentisthePresidingJudgeoftheMunicipalTrialCourtofBalatan,Camarines
Sur. Petitioner alleges that on 17 February 2000, respondent judge solemnized her marriage to her late groom
DominadorB.OrobiawithouttherequisitemarriagelicenseandatNabua,CamarinesSurwhichisoutsidehisterritorial
jurisdiction.
Theylivedtogetherashusbandandwifeonthestrengthofthismarriageuntilherhusbandpassedaway.However,
sincethemarriagewasanullity,petitionersrighttoinheritthevastpropertiesleftbyOrobiawasnotrecognized.She
waslikewisedeprivedofreceivingthepensionsofOrobia,aretiredCommodoreofthePhilippineNavy.

Petitioner prays that sanctions be imposed against respondent judge for his illegal acts and unethical
misrepresentationswhichallegedlycausedhersomuchhardships,embarrassmentandsufferings.
On 28 May 2001, the case was referred by the Office of the Chief Justice to then Acting Court Administrator
ZenaidaN.Elepaoforappropriateaction.On8June2001,theOfficeoftheCourtAdministratorrequiredrespondent
judgetocomment.
InhisCommentdated5July2001,respondentjudgeaverredthathewasrequestedbyacertainJuanArroyoon15
February 2000 to solemnize the marriage of the parties on 17 February 2000. Having been assured that all the
documentstothemarriagewerecomplete,heagreedtosolemnizethemarriageinhissalaattheMunicipalTrialCourt
ofBalatan,CamarinesSur.However,on17February2000,ArroyoinformedhimthatOrobiahadadifficultywalking
and could not stand the rigors of travelling to Balatan which is located almost 25 kilometers from his residence in
Nabua.ArroyothenrequestedifrespondentjudgecouldsolemnizethemarriageinNabua,towhichrequestheacceded.
Respondent judge further avers that before he started the ceremony, he carefully examined the documents
submittedtohimbypetitioner.Whenhediscoveredthatthepartiesdidnotpossesstherequisitemarriagelicense,he
refusedtosolemnizethemarriageandsuggesteditsresettingtoanotherdate.However,duetotheearnestpleasofthe
parties,theinfluxofvisitors,andthedeliveryofprovisionsfortheoccasion,heproceededtosolemnizethemarriage
out of human compassion. He also feared that if he reset the wedding, it might aggravate the physical condition of
Orobiawhojustsufferedfromastroke.Afterthesolemnization,hereiteratedthenecessityforthemarriagelicenseand
admonished the parties that their failure to give it would render the marriage void.Petitioner and Orobia assured
respondentjudgethattheywouldgivethelicensetohimintheafternoonofthatsameday.Whentheyfailedtocomply,
respondentjudgefolloweditupwithArroyobutthelatteronlygavehimthesamereassurancethatthemarriagelicense
wouldbedeliveredtohissalaattheMunicipalTrialCourtofBalatan,CamarinesSur.
Respondent judge vigorously denies that he told the contracting parties that their marriage is valid despite the
absenceofamarriagelicense.Heattributesthehardshipsandembarrassmentsufferedbythepetitionerasduetoher
ownfaultandnegligence.
On12September2001,petitionerfiledherAffidavitofDesistancedated28August2001withtheOfficeofthe
CourtAdministrator.Sheattestedthatrespondentjudgeinitiallyrefusedtosolemnizehermarriageduetothewantofa
dulyissuedmarriagelicenseandthatitwasbecauseofherproddingandreassurancesthatheeventuallysolemnizedthe
same.Sheconfessedthatshefiledthisadministrativecaseoutofrage.However,afterreadingtheCommentfiledby
respondentjudge,sherealizedherownshortcomingsandisnowbotheredbyherconscience.
Reviewing the records of the case, it appears that petitioner and Orobia filed their Application for Marriage
Licenseon5January2000.ItwasstampedinthisApplicationthatthemarriagelicenseshallbeissuedon17January
2000.However,neitherpetitionernorOrobiaclaimedit.
ItalsoappearsthattheOfficeoftheCivilRegistrarGeneralissuedaCertificationthatithasnorecordofsuch
marriage that allegedly took place on 17 February 2000. Likewise, the Office of the Local Civil Registrar of Nabua,
CamarinesSurissuedanotherCertificationdated7May2001thatitcannotissueatruecopyoftheMarriageContract
ofthepartiessinceithasnorecordoftheirmarriage.
On 8 May 2001, petitioner sought the assistance of respondent judge so the latter could communicate with the
OfficeoftheLocalCivilRegistrarofNabua,CamarinesSurfortheissuanceofhermarriagelicense.Respondentjudge
wrotetheLocalCivilRegistrarofNabua,CamarinesSur.Inaletterdated9May2001,aClerkofsaidoffice,GraceT.
Escobal,informedrespondentjudgethattheirofficecannotissuethemarriagelicenseduetothefailureofOrobiato
submittheDeathCertificateofhispreviousspouse.
TheOfficeoftheCourtAdministrator,initsReportandRecommendationdated15November2000,foundthe
respondentjudgeguiltyofsolemnizingamarriagewithoutadulyissuedmarriagelicenseandfordoingsooutsidehis
territorialjurisdiction.AfineofP5,000.00wasrecommendedtobeimposedonrespondentjudge.
Weagree.
UndertheJudiciaryReorganizationActof1980,orB.P.129,theauthorityoftheregionaltrialcourtjudgesand
judgesofinferiorcourtstosolemnizemarriagesisconfinedtotheirterritorialjurisdictionasdefinedbytheSupreme
Court.

The case at bar is not without precedent. InNavarro vs. Domagtoy,[1]respondent judge held office and had
jurisdictionintheMunicipalCircuitTrialCourtofSta.MonicaBurgos,SurigaodelNorte.However,hesolemnizeda
weddingathisresidenceinthemunicipalityofDapa,SurigaodelNortewhichdidnotfallwithinthejurisdictionalarea
ofthemunicipalitiesofSta.MonicaandBurgos.Weheldthat:
Apriestwhoiscommissionedandallowedbyhislocalordinancetomarrythefaithfulisauthorizedtodosoonlywithin
theareaordioceseorplaceallowedbyhisBishop.AnappellatecourtJusticeoraJusticeofthisCourthasjurisdiction
over the entire Philippines to solemnize marriages, regardless of the venue, as long as the requisites of the law are
compliedwith.However,judgeswhoareappointedtospecificjurisdictions,mayofficiateinweddingsonlywithin
said areas and not beyond. Where a judge solemnizes a marriage outside his courts jurisdiction, there is a
resultantirregularityintheformalrequisitelaiddowninArticle3,whichwhileitmaynotaffectthevalidityof
themarriage,maysubjecttheofficiatingofficialtoadministrativeliability.[2](Emphasissupplied.)
In said case, we suspended respondent judge for six (6) months on the ground that his act of solemnizing a
marriageoutsidehisjurisdictionconstitutesgrossignoranceofthelaw.Wefurtherheldthat:
Thejudiciaryshouldbecomposedofpersonswho,ifnotexperts,areatleast,proficientinthelawtheyareswornto
apply,morethantheordinarylaymen.Theyshouldbeskilledandcompetentinunderstandingandapplyingthelaw.It
isimperativethattheybeconversantwithbasiclegalprinciplesliketheonesinvolvedintheinstantcase.xxxWhile
magistratesmayattimesmakemistakesinjudgment,forwhichtheyarenotpenalized,therespondentjudgeexhibited
ignoranceofelementaryprovisionsoflaw,inanareawhichhasgreatlyprejudicedthestatusofmarriedpersons.[3]
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
contrarytolawandsubjectshimtoadministrativeliability.Hisactmaynotamounttogrossignoranceofthelawforhe
allegedlysolemnizedthemarriageoutofhumancompassionbutnonetheless,hecannotavoidliabilityforviolatingthe
lawonmarriage.
Respondent judge should also be faulted for solemnizing a marriage without the requisite marriage license.
InPeoplevs.Lara,[4]weheldthatamarriagewhichprecededtheissuanceofthemarriagelicenseisvoid,andthatthe
subsequentissuanceofsuchlicensecannotrendervalidorevenaddaniotaofvaliditytothemarriage.Exceptincases
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. In this respect,
respondentjudgeactedingrossignoranceofthelaw.
Respondent judge cannot be exculpated despite the Affidavit of Desistance filed by petitioner. This Court has
consistentlyheldinacatenaofcasesthatthewithdrawalofthecomplaintdoesnotnecessarilyhavethelegaleffectof
exoneratingrespondentfromdisciplinaryaction.Otherwise,thepromptandfairadministrationofjustice,aswellasthe
disciplineofcourtpersonnel,wouldbeundermined.[5]Disciplinaryactionsofthisnaturedonotinvolvepurelyprivateor
personal matters. They can not be made to depend upon the will of every complainant who may, for one reason or
another,condoneadetestableact.Wecannotbeboundbytheunilateralactofacomplainantinamatterwhichinvolves
theCourtsconstitutionalpowertodisciplinejudges.Otherwise,thatpowermaybeputtonaught,underminethetrust
characterofapublicofficeandimpairtheintegrityanddignityofthisCourtasadiscipliningauthority.[6]
WHEREFORE, respondent Judge Salvador M. Occiano, Presiding Judge of the Municipal Trial Court of
Balatan, Camarines Sur, is fined P5,000.00pesos with a STERN WARNING that a repetition of the same or similar
offenseinthefuturewillbedealtwithmoreseverely.
SOORDERED.
Davide,Jr.,C.J.,(Chairman),Kapunan,andYnaresSantiago,JJ.,concur.
REPUBLICOFTHEPHILIPPINES,petitioner,
vs.
COURTOFAPPEALSANDANGELINAM.CASTRO,respondents.
PUNO,J.:

ThecaseatbenchoriginatedfromapetitionfiledbyprivaterespondentAngelinaM.CastrointheRegionalTrialCourt
of Quezon City seeking a judicial declaration of nullity of her marriage to Edwin F. Cardenas.1As ground therefor,
Castroclaimsthatnomarriagelicensewaseverissuedtothempriortothesolemnizationoftheirmarriage.
Despitenotice,defendantEdwinF.Cardenasfailedtofilehisanswer.Consequently,hewasdeclaredindefault.Trial
proceededinhisabsence.
Thecontrollingfactsareundisputed:
OnJune24,1970,AngelinaM.CastroandEdwinF.CardenasweremarriedinacivilceremonyperformedbyJudge
Pablo M. Malvar, City Court Judge of Pasay City. The marriage was celebrated without the knowledge of Castro's
parents.DefendantCardenaspersonallyattendedtotheprocessingofthedocumentsrequiredforthecelebrationofthe
marriage, including the procurement of the marriage, license. In fact, the marriage contract itself states that marriage
licenseno.3196182wasissuedinthenameofthecontractingpartiesonJune24,1970inPasig,MetroManila.
ThecoupledidnotimmediatelylivetogetherashusbandandwifesincethemarriagewasunknowntoCastro'sparents.
Thus,itwasonlyinMarch1971,whenCastrodiscoveredshewaspregnant,thatthecoupledecidedtolivetogether.
However,theircohabitationlastedonlyforfour(4)months.Thereafter,thecouplepartedways.OnOctober19,1971,
Castrogavebirth.ThebabywasadoptedbyCastro'sbrother,withtheconsentofCardenas.
ThebabyisnowintheUnitedStates.Desiringtofollowherdaughter,Castrowantedtoputinorderhermaritalstatus
beforeleavingfortheStates.Shethusconsultedalawyer,Atty.FrumencioE.Pulgar,regardingthepossibleannulment
of her marriage. Through her lawyer's efforts, they discovered that there was no marriage license issued to Cardenas
priortothecelebrationoftheirmarriage.
Asproof,AngelinaCastroofferedinevidenceacertificationfromtheCivilRegisterofPasig,MetroManila.Itreads:
February20,1987
TOWHOMITMAYCONCERN:
ThisistocertifythatthenamesEDWINF.CARDENASandANGELINAM.CASTROwhowere
allegedlymarriedinthePasayCityCourtonJune21,1970underanalleged(s)upportivemarriage
license
no.3196182allegedlyissuedinthemunicipalityonJune20,1970cannotbelocatedassaidlicense
no.3196182doesnotappearfromourrecords.
IssueduponrequestofMr.EdAtanacio.
(Sgd)CENONAD.QUINTOS
SeniorCivilRegistryOfficer
Castro testified that she did not go to the civil registrar of Pasig on or before June 24, 1970 in order to apply for a
license.Neitherdidshesignanyapplicationtherefor.SheaffixedhersignatureonlyonthemarriagecontractonJune
24,1970inPasayCity.
The trial court denied the petition.2It held that the above certification was inadequate to establish the alleged non
issuanceofamarriagelicensepriortothecelebrationofthemarriagebetweentheparties.Itruledthatthe"inabilityof
thecertifyingofficialtolocatethemarriagelicenseisnotconclusivetoshowthattherewasnomarriagelicenseissued."
Unsatisfiedwiththedecision,Castroappealedtorespondentappellatecourt.Sheinsistedthatthecertificationfromthe
localcivilregistrarsufficientlyestablishedtheabsenceofamarriagelicense.
Asstatedearlier,respondentappellatecourtreversedtheDecisionofthetrialcourt.3Itdeclaredthemarriagebetween
thecontractingpartiesnullandvoidanddirectedtheCivilRegistrarofPasigtocancelthesubjectmarriagecontract.
Hencethispetitionforreviewoncertiorari.
Petitioner Republic of the Philippines urges that respondent appellate court erred when it ruled that the certification
issuedbythecivilregistrarthatmarriagelicenseno.3196182wasnotintheirrecordadequatelyprovedthatnosuch
license was ever issued. Petitioner also faults the respondent court for relying on the selfserving and uncorroborated
testimonyofprivaterespondentCastrothatshehadnopartintheprocurementofthesubjectmarriagelicense.Petitioner
thusinsiststhatthecertificationandtheuncorroboratedtestimonyofprivaterespondentareinsufficienttooverthrow
thelegalpresumptionregardingthevalidityofamarriage.

Petitioner also points that in declaring the marriage between the parties as null and void, respondent appellate court
disregardedthepresumptionthatthesolemnizingofficer,JudgePabloM.Malvar,regularlyperformedhisdutieswhen
he attested in the marriage contract that marriage license no. 3196182 was duly presented to him before the
solemnizationofthesubjectmarriage.
Theissues,beinginterrelated,shallbediscussedjointly.
Thecoreissuepresentedbythecaseatbenchiswhetherornotthedocumentaryandtestimonialevidencepresentedby
privaterespondentaresufficienttoestablishthatnomarriagelicensewasissuedbytheCivilRegistrarofPasigpriorto
thecelebrationofthemarriageofprivaterespondenttoEdwinF.Cardenas.
WeaffirmtheimpugnedDecision.
AtthetimethesubjectmarriagewassolemnizedonJune24,1970,thelawgoverningmaritalrelationswastheNew
CivilCode.Thelaw4providesthatnomarriageshallbesolemnizedwithoutamarriagelicensefirstissuedbyalocal
civilregistrar.Beingoneoftheessentialrequisitesofavalidmarriage,absenceofalicensewouldrenderthemarriage
voidabinitio.5
Petitionerpositsthatthecertificationofthelocalcivilregistrarofduesearchandinabilitytofindarecordorentrytothe
effectthatmarriagelicenseno.3196182wasissuedtothepartiesisnotadequatetoproveitsnonissuance.
Weholdotherwise.ThepresentationofsuchcertificationincourtissanctionedbySection29,Rule132oftheRulesof
Court,viz.:
Sec.29.Proofoflackofrecord.Awrittenstatementsignedbyanofficerhavingcustodyofan
officialrecordorbyhisdeputy,thatafterdiligentsearch,norecordorentryofaspecifiedtenoris
found to exist in the records of his office, accompanied by a certificate as above provided, is
admissibleasevidencethattherecordsofhisofficecontainnosuchrecordorentry.
TheaboveRuleauthorizedthecustodianofdocumentstocertifythatdespitediligentsearch,aparticulardocumentdoes
notexistinhisofficeorthataparticularentryofaspecifiedtenorwasnottobefoundinaregister.Ascustodiansof
public documents, civil registrars are public officers charged with the duty,inter alia, of maintaining a register book
wheretheyarerequiredtoenterallapplicationsformarriagelicenses,includingthenamesoftheapplicants,thedatethe
marriagelicensewasissuedandsuchotherrelevantdata.6
Thecertificationof"duesearchandinabilitytofind"issuedbythecivilregistrarofPasigenjoysprobativevalue,he
being the officer charged under the law to keep a record of all data relative to the issuance of a marriage license.
Unaccompanied by any circumstance of suspicion and pursuant to Section 29, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court, a
certificate of "due search and inability to find" sufficiently proved that his office did not issue marriage license no.
3196182tothecontractingparties.
ThefactthatprivaterespondentCastroofferedonlyhertestimonyinsupportofherpetitionis,initself,notagroundto
deny her petition. The failure to offer any other witness to corroborate her testimony is mainly due to the peculiar
circumstancesofthecase.Itwillberememberedthatthesubjectmarriagewasacivilceremonyperformedbyajudgeof
a city court. The subject marriage is one of those commonly known as a "secret marriage" a legally nonexistent
phrasebutordinarilyusedtorefertoacivilmarriagecelebratedwithouttheknowledgeoftherelativesand/orfriendsof
eitherorbothofthecontractingparties.TherecordsshowthatthemarriagebetweenCastroandCardenaswasinitially
unknowntotheparentsoftheformer.
Surely,thefactthatonlyprivaterespondentCastrotestifiedduringthetrialcannotbeheldagainsther.Herhusband,
EdwinF.Cardenas,wasdulyservedwithnoticeoftheproceedingsandacopyofthepetition.Despitereceiptthereof,
hechosetoignorethesame.Forfailuretoanswer,hewasproperlydeclaredindefault.Privaterespondentcannotbe
faultedforherhusband'slackofinteresttoparticipateintheproceedings.Therewasabsolutelynoevidenceonrecordto
showthattherewascollusionbetweenprivaterespondentandherhusbandCardenas.
Itisnoteworthytomentionthatthefindingoftheappellatecourtthatthemarriagebetweenthecontractingpartiesis
null and void for lack of a marriage license does not discount the fact that indeed, a spurious marriage license,
purportingtobeissuedbythecivilregistrarofPasig,mayhavebeenpresentedbyCardenastothesolemnizingofficer.
In fine, we hold that, under the circumstances of the case, the documentary and testimonial evidence presented by
privaterespondentCastrosufficientlyestablishedtheabsenceofthesubjectmarriagelicense.

INVIEWWHEREOF,thepetitionisDENIEDtherebeingnoshowingofanyreversibleerrorcommittedbyrespondent
appellatecourt.
SOORDERED.
Narvasa,C.J.,Padilla,RegaladoandMendoza,JJ.,concur.
MARILOUNAMAMORENO,complainant,
vs.
JUDGEJOSEC.BERNABE,MetropolitanTrialCourt,Branch72,Pasig,MetroManila,respondent.

KAPUNAN,J.:
The responsibility of a Judge is indeed heavy. As the incarnation of law and justice, it is his sworn duty to lead by
example,tobetheexample.Buthowcanheinspirethepeopletolivebythelawifhehimselffailstodoso?
MarilouNamaMorenofiledthiscomplaintagainstJudgeJoseC.BernabeoftheMetropolitanTrialCourt,Branch72,
Pasig,MetroManilaforgravemisconductandgrossignoranceofthelaw.
ComplainantallegesthatonOctober4,1993,sheandMarceloMorenoweremarriedbeforerespondentJudgeBernabe.
SheaversthatRespondentJudgeassuredherthatthemarriagecontractwillbereleasedten(10)daysafterOctober4,
1993.ComplainantthenvisitedtheofficeoftheRespondentJudgeonOctober15,1993onlytofindoutthatshecould
not get the marriage contract because the Office of the Local Civil Registrar failed to issue a marriage license. She
claimsthatRespondentJudgeconnivedwiththerelativesofMarceloMorenotodeceiveher.1
Inhiscomment,2RespondentdeniedthatheconspiredwiththerelativesofMarceloMorenotosolemnizethemarriage
forthepurposeofdeceivingthecomplainant.
Respondentcontends:
1.ThattheLocalCivilRegistrarofPasighasactuallypreparedthemarriagelicensebutitwasnotreleasedduetothe
subsequentobjectionofthefatherofMarceloMoreno
2. That he did not violate the law nor did he have the slightest intention to violate the law when he, in good faith,
solemnizedthemarriage,ashewasmovedonlybyadesiretohelpabeggingandpleadingcomplainantwhowanted
somekindofassuranceorsecurityduetoherpregnantcondition
3. That in order to pacify complainant, Marcelo Moreno requested him to perform the marriage ceremony, with the
express assurance that "the marriage license was definitely forthcoming since the necessary documents were
complete"3
4.Thatthecontractingpartieswerenotknowntohimand
5.Thatbothparties,particularlythecomplainant,werefullyapprisedoftheeffectsofamarriageperformedwithoutthe
requiredmarriagelicense.
In a Resolution dated August 10, 1994, we referred this matter for investigation, report and recommendation to
ExecutiveJudgeMartinVillarama,Jr.,oftheRegionalTrialCourtofPasig,MetroManila,Branch156.
In his Memorandum of October 11, 1994, Judge Villarama, Jr. recommended the dismissal of the complaint against
Respondentforfailureofcomplainanttoappearonanyofthescheduledhearingsandonthebasisofa"Sinumpaang
Salaysay"4executed on behalf of complainant who has left for Singapore by her elder sister Sherlita N. Bendanillo
expresslywithdrawinghercomplaintagainstRespondent.
Judge Villarama, however, also recommended that the Respondent be issued a stern warning "in view of the fact on
recordthatheindeedsolemnizedamarriagewithouttherequisitemarriagelicense...."5
On November 7, 1994, we referred the aforementioned Memorandum to the Office of the Court Administrator for
evaluation,reportandrecommendation.
InitsMemorandumdatedJanuary17,1995,theOfficeoftheCourtAdministratorstated:
CarefulstudyoftherecordsrevealthatindeedrespondentJudgedisplayedhisignoranceofthelaw
when he solemnized the marriage without a marriage license. As a judge, he is presumed to be
awareoftheexistenceofArticle3(2)oftheFamilyCodeofthePhilippines(E.O.209,asamended
by E.O. 227), which provides that one of the formal requisites of a marriage is a valid marriage
license.Absenceofsaidrequisitewillmakethemarriagevoidfromthebeginning(Article35[3],

the Family Code of the Philippines). Judges are enjoined to show more than just a cursory
acquaintanceofthelawandotherestablishedrules.6
ItrecommendedthatRespondentbeheldliableformisconductforsolemnizingamarriagewithoutamarriagelicense
andthattheappropriateadministrativesanctionsbeimposedagainsthim.7
WeconcurwiththefindingsandrecommendationoftheOfficeoftheCourtAdministrator.
Respondent,byhisownadmission8thathesolemnizedthemarriagebetweencomplainantandMarceloMorenowithout
therequiredmarriagelicense,hasdismallyfailedtoliveuptohiscommitmenttobethe"embodimentofcompetence,
integrityandindependence"9andtohispromisetobe"faithfultothelaw."10
Respondent cannot hide behind his claim of good faith and Christian motives which, at most, would serve only to
mitigatehisliabilitybutnotexoneratehimcompletely.Goodintentionscouldneverjustifyviolationofthelaw.
MustwealwaysrepeatourreminderinUyv.DizonCapulong11andseveralothercases12that
...thejudgeisthevisiblerepresentationoflawandjusticefromwhomthepeopledrawtheirwill
and awareness to obey the law. For the judge to return that regard, the latter must be the first to
abide by the law and weave an example for the others to follow. The judge should be studiously
carefultoavoideventheslightestinfractionofthelaw.Tofulfillthismission,thejudgeshouldkeep
abreastofthelaw,therulingsanddoctrinesofthisCourt.Ifthejudgeisalreadyawareofthem,the
latter should not deliberately refrain from applying them otherwise such omission can never be
excused.
Andhavewenotfrequentlystressedthat:
...judgesshouldendeavortomaintainatalltimestheconfidenceandhighrespectaccordedtothose
who wield the gavel of justice. Circular No. 13, dated July 1, 1987, enjoins judges "to conduct
themselves strictly in accordance with the mandate of existing laws and the Code of Judicial
Conductthattheybeexemplarsintheircommunitiesandthelivingpersonificationofjusticeandthe
RuleofLaw....13
A case in point, a definite precedent and a clear basis in determining the liability of Respondent in the instant case
isCosca,etal.v.Palaypayon,Jr.,
et a1.14where Judge Palaypayon, Jr. was duly fined and sternly warned for, among others, solemnizing marriages
withoutlicenses.Wedeclared:
...theconductandbehaviorofeveryoneconnectedwithanofficechargedwiththedispensationof
justice, from the presiding judge to the lowliest clerk, should be circumscribed with the heavy
burdenofresponsibility.Hisconduct,atalltimes,mustnotonlybecharacterizedbyproprietyand
decorumbut,aboveallelse,mustbebeyondsuspicion.Everyemployeeshouldbeanexampleof
integrity, uprightness and honesty. Integrity in a judicial office is more than a virtue, it is a
necessity.Itapplies,withoutqualificationastorankorposition,fromthejudgetotheleastofits
personnel,theybeingstandardbearersoftheexactingnormsofethicsandmoralityimposedupona
Courtofjustice.
On the charge regarding illegal marriages the Family Code pertinently provides that the formal
requisites of marriage are,inter alia, a valid marriage license except in the cases provided for
therein. Complementarily, it declares that the absence of any of the essential or formal requisites
shall generally render the marriage voidab initioand that, while an irregularity in the formal
requisites shall not affect the validity of the marriage, the party or parties responsible for the
irregularityshallbecivilly,criminallyandadministrativelyliable.
Thecivilaspectisaddressedtothecontractingpartiesandthoseaffectedbytheillegalmarriages,
and what we are providing for herein pertains to the administrative liability of respondents, all
withoutprejudicetotheircriminalresponsibility.TheRevisedPenalCodeprovidesthat"[p]riestsor
ministersofanyreligiousdenominationorsect,orcivilauthoritieswhoshallperformorauthorize
anyillegalmarriageceremonyshallbepunishedinaccordancewiththeprovisionsoftheMarriage
Law."Thisisofcourse,withintheprovinceoftheprosecutorialagenciesoftheGovernment.
Finally,ontheallegedwithdrawalofthecomplaintagainstRespondent,wereiterateourrulinginImbingv.Tiongson:15

The fact that complainant has lost interest in prosecuting the administrative case against herein
respondentjudgewillnotnecessarilywarrantadismissalthereof.Oncechargeshavebeenfiled,the
SupremeCourtmaynotbedivestedofitsjurisdictiontoinvestigateandascertainthetruthofthe
matter alleged in the complaint. The Court has an interest in the conduct of members of the
Judiciaryandinimprovingthedeliveryofjusticetothepeople,anditseffortsinthatdirectionmay
notbederailedbythecomplainant'sdesistancefromfurtherprosecutingthecaseheorsheinitiated.
Toconditionadministrativeactionsuponthewillofeverycomplainant,whomay,foronereasonor
another,condoneadetestableact,istostripthisCourtofitssupervisorypowertodisciplineerring
members of the Judiciary. Definitely, personal interests are not material or controlling. What is
involvedhereisamatterofpublicinterestconsideringthatrespondentisnoordinarycitizenbutan
officer of the court whose personal behavior not only upon the bench and in the performance of
judicialduties,butalsoinhiseverydaylife,shouldbebeyondreproach.
WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, Respondent is hereby ordered to pay a fine of P10,000.00 and is
STERNLYWARNEDthatarepetitionofthesameorsimilaractswillbedealtwithmoreseverely.
SOORDERED.
Padilla,Davide,Jr.,BellosilloandQuiason,JJ.,concur.
THEPEOPLEOFTHEPHILIPPINES,plaintiffappellee,vs.ERNESTOA.BORROMEO,accusedappellant.
DECISION
PURISIMA,J.:
Appeal interposed by accused Ernesto Borromeo from the decision[1]of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 54,
Manila,findinghimguiltyofIllegalRecruitmentinCriminalCaseNo.93129374andofEstafainCriminalCaseNos.
93129376to93129384.
On November 9, 1993, Assistant Prosecutor Roy A. Cabatuando filed several Informations against the said
accused,alleging:
InCriminalCaseNo.93129374forIllegalRecruitment
ThatinoraboutandduringtheperiodcompromisedfromFebruary16,1993uptoJuly28,1993,inclusive,intheCity
of Manila, Philippines, the said accused conspiring and confederating with others whose true name, identities and
present whereabouts are still unknown and helping one another, representing themselves to have the capacity to
contract,enlistandtransportFilipinoworkersforemploymentabroad,didandtherewillfullyandunlawfullyforafee,
recruitandpromiseemploymenttoJOCELYNEDEVEZAYGARCIA,DONNAPATRICIAV.ANTONIO,WESLEY
PAJARILLAGA, EDWIN ORTIZ, LEONARD BROZO, ROBERTO PEREZ Y BROZO, EDUARDO NANA,
LAMBERTO PINGA Y CONCEPCION, BENJAMIN G. FULGENCIO and NESTOR DIZON without first having
securedtherequiredlicenseorauthorityfromtheDepartmentofLaborandEmployment.
CONTRARYTOLAW.[2]
InCriminalCaseNo.93129375forEstafa
ThatonoraboutMarch22,1993,intheCityofManila,Philippines,thesaidaccusedconspiringandconfederatingwith
others whose true names, identities and present whereabouts are still unknown and helping one another did then and
therewilfully(sic),unlawfullyandfeloniouslydefraudDONNAPATRICIAV.ANTONIOinthefollowingmanner,to
wit:thesaidaccusedbymeansoffalsemanifestationsandfraudulentrepresentationswhichhe,she,theymadetosaid
DONNAPATRICIAV.ANTONIOtotheeffectthattheyhadthepowerandcapacitytorecruitandemployDONNA
PATRICIA V. ANTONIO as factory worker for Taiwan and could facilitate the processing of the pertinent papers if
given the necessary amount to meet the requirements thereof, and by means of other similar deceits, induce and
succeededininducingsaidDONNAPATRICIAV.ANTONIOtogiveanddeliver,asinfactshegaveanddeliveredto
said accused the amount ofP15,000.00 on the strength of said manifestations and representations, said accused well
knowingthatthesamearefalseandfraudulentandweremadesolely,toobtain,asinfacttheydidobtaintheamount
ofP15,000.00 which amount once in their possession, with intent to defraud, wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously
misappropriated,misappliedandconvertedtotheirownpersonaluseandbenefit,tothedamageandprejudiceofsaid
DONNAPATRICIAV.ANTONIOintheaforesaidamountofP15,000.00,PhilippineCurrency.
CONTRARYTOLAW.[3]

InCriminalCaseNo.93129376forEstafa
ThatonoraboutandduringtheperiodcomprisedfromMarch1,1993toJuly28,1993,inclusive,intheCityofManila,
Philippines, the said accused conspiring and confederating with others whose true names, identities and present
whereaboutsarestillunknownandhelpingoneanotherdidthenandtherewilfully,unlawfullyandfeloniouslydefraud
EDWINM.ORTIZinthefollowingmanner,towit:thesaidaccusedbymeansoffalsemanifestationsandfraudulent
representations which he, she, they made to the said EDWIN M. ORTIZ to the effect that they had the power and
capacitytorecruitandemployEDWINM.ORTIZasfactoryworkerforTaiwanandcouldfacilitatetheprocessingof
the pertinent papers if given the necessary amount to meet the requirement thereof, and by means of other similar
deceits,induceandsucceededininducingsaidEDWINM.ORTIZtogiveanddeliver,asinfacthegaveanddelivered
to said accused the amount ofP22,600 on the strength of said manifestations and representations, said accused well
knowingthatthesamearefalseandfraudulentandweremadesolely,toobtain,asinfacttheydidobtaintheamount
ofP22,600, which amount once in their possession, with intent to defraud, wilfully, unlawfully an feloniously
misappropriated,misappliedandconverted(sic)totheirownpersonaluseandbenefit,tothedamageandprejudiceof
saidEDWINM.ORTIZintheaforesaidamountofP22,600.00.PhilippineCurrency.
CONTRARYTOLAW.[4]
InCriminalCaseNo.93129377forEstafa
ThatonoraboutandduringtheperiodcomprisedfromFebruary22,1993toMarch15,1993inclusive,intheCityof
Manila,Philippines,thesaidaccusedconspiringandconfederatingwithotherswhosetruenames,identitiesandpresent
whereaboutsarestillunknownandhelpingoneanotherandthenandtherewilfully,unlawfullyandfeloniouslydefraud
LEONARD S. BROZO in the following manner, to wit:the said accused by means of false manifestations and
fraudulentrepresentationswhichhe,she,theymadetoLEONARDS.BROZOtotheeffectthattheyhadthepowerand
capacitytorecruitandemployLEONARDS.BROZOasfactoryworkerforTaiwanandcouldfacilitatetheprocessing
ofthepertinentpapersifgiventhenecessaryamounttomeettherequirementsthereofandbymeansofothersimilar
deceits, induce and succeeded in inducing said LEONARD S. BROZO to give and deliver, as in fact she gave and
delivered to said accused the amount ofP15,000.00 on the strength of said manifestations and representations, said
accusedwellknowingthatthesamearefalseandfraudulentandweremadesolely,toobtain,asinfacttheydidobtain
the amount ofP15,000.00, which amount once in their possession, with intent to defraud, wilfully, unlawfully an
feloniously misappropriated, misapplied and converted to their own personal use and benefit, to the damage and
prejudiceofsaidLEONARDS.BROZOintheaforesaidamountofP15,000.00,PhilippineCurrency.
CONTRARYTOLAW.[5]
InCriminalCaseNo.93129378forEstafa
ThatonoraboutandduringtheperiodcomprisedfromFebruary22,1993andMarch15,1993,intheCityofManila,
Philippines, the said accused conspiring and confederating with others whose true names, identities and present
whereaboutsarestillunknownandhelpingoneanotherandthenandtherewilfully,unlawfullyandfeloniouslydefraud
ROBERTO BROZO PEREZ in the following manner, to wit:the said accused by means of false manifestations and
fraudulent representations which he, she, they made to ROBERTO BROZO PEREZ to the effect that they had the
powerandcapacitytorecruitandemployROBERTOBROZOPEREZasfactoryworkerforTaiwanandcouldfacilitate
theprocessingofthepertinentpapersifgiventhenecessaryamounttomeettherequirementsthereofandbymeansof
othersimilardeceits,induceandsucceededininducingsaidROBERTOBROZOPEREZtogiveanddeliver,asinfact
she gave and delivered to said accused the amount ofP15,000.00 on the strength of said manifestations and
representations,saidaccusedwellknowingthatthesamearefalseandfraudulentandweremadesolely,toobtain,asin
facttheydidobtaintheamountofP15,000.00,whichamountonceintheirpossession,withintenttodefraud,wilfully,
unlawfully an feloniously misappropriated, misapplied and converted to their own personal use and benefit, to the
damageandprejudiceofsaidROBERTOBROZOPEREZintheaforesaidamountofP15,000.00.PhilippineCurrency.
CONTRARYTOLAW.[6]
InCriminalCaseNo.93129379forEstafa
ThatonoraboutandduringtheperiodcomprisedfromMarch1,1993toJuly28,1993,inclusive,Philippines,thesaid
accused conspiring and confederating with others whose true names, identities and present whereabouts are still
unknownandhelpingoneanotherdidthenandtherewilfully,unlawfullyandfeloniouslydefraudLAMBERTOPINGA
Y CONCEPCION in the following manner, to wit:the said accused by means of false manifestations and fraudulent

representationswhichhe,she,theymadetothesaidLAMBERTOPINGAYCONCEPCIONtotheeffectthattheyhad
the power and capacity to recruit and employ LAMBERTO PINGA Y CONCEPCION as factory worker for Taiwan
and could facilitate the processing of the the pertinent papers if given the necessary amount to meet the requirement
thereof, and by means of other similar deceits, induce and succeeded in inducing said LAMBERTO PINGA Y
CONCEPCION to give and deliver, as in fact he gave and delivered to said accused the amount ofP22,600 on the
strength of said manifestations and representations, said accused well knowing that the same are false and fraudulent
and were made solely, to obtain, as in fact they did obtain the amount ofP22,600, which amount once in their
possession, with intent to defraud, wilfully, unlawfully an feloniously misappropriated, misapplied and converted to
theirownpersonaluseandbenefit,tothedamageandprejudiceofsaidLAMBERTOPINGAYCONCEPCIONinthe
aforesaidamountofP22,600.00.PhilippineCurrency.
CONTRARYTOLAW.[7]
InCriminalCaseNo.93129380forEstafa
ThatonoraboutandduringtheperiodcomprisedfromFebruary22,1993uptoMarch15,1993inclusive,intheCityof
Manila,Philippines,thesaidaccusedconspiringandconfederatingwithotherswhosetruenames,identitiesandpresent
whereaboutsarestillunknownandhelpingoneanotherandthenandtherewilfully,unlawfullyandfeloniouslydefraud
NESTORN.DIZONinthefollowingmanner,towit:thesaidaccusedbymeansoffalsemanifestationsandfraudulent
representationswhichhe,she,theymadetoNESTORN.DIZONtotheeffectthattheyhadthepowerandcapacityto
recruit and employ NESTOR N. DIZON as factory worker for Taiwan and could facilitate the processing of the
pertinentpapersifgiventhenecessaryamounttomeettherequirementsthereofandbymeansofothersimilardeceits,
induceandsucceededininducingsaidNESTORN.DIZONtogiveanddeliver,asinfacthegaveanddeliveredtosaid
accusedtheamountofP15,000.00onthestrengthofsaidmanifestationsandrepresentations,saidaccusedwellknowing
that the same are false and fraudulent and were made solely, to obtain, as in fact they did obtain the amount
ofP15,000.00, which amount once in their possession, with intent to defraud, wilfully, unlawfully an feloniously
misappropriated,misappliedandconvertedtotheirownpersonaluseandbenefit,tothedamageandprejudiceofsaid
NESTORN.DIZONintheaforesaidamountofP15,000.00,PhilippineCurrency.
CONTRARYTOLAW.[8]
InCriminalCaseNo.93129381forEstafa
ThatonoraboutandduringtheperiodcomprisedfromFebruary16,1993uptoMarch25,1993inclusive,intheCityof
Manila,Philippines,thesaidaccusedconspiringandconfederatingwithotherswhosetruenames,identitiesandpresent
whereaboutsarestillunknownandhelpingoneanotherandthenandtherewilfully,unlawfullyandfeloniouslydefraud
WESLEY PAJARILLAGA in the following manner, to wit:the said accused by means of false manifestations and
fraudulentrepresentationswhichhe,she,theymadetoWESLEYPAJARILLAGAtotheeffectthattheyhadthepower
and capacity to recruit and employ WESLEY PAJARILLAGA as factory worker for Taiwan and could facilitate the
processingofthepertinentpapersifgiventhenecessaryamounttomeettherequirementsthereofandbymeansofother
similardeceits,induceandsucceededininducingsaidWESLEYPAJARILLAGAtogiveanddeliver,asinfacthegave
anddeliveredtosaidaccusedtheamountofP15,000.00onthestrengthofsaidmanifestationsandrepresentations,said
accusedwellknowingthatthesamearefalseandfraudulentandweremadesolely,toobtain,asinfacttheydidobtain
the amount ofP15,000.00, which amount once in their possession, with intent to defraud, wilfully, unlawfully an
feloniously misappropriated, misapplied and converted to their own personal use and benefit, to the damage and
prejudiceofsaidWESLEYPAJARILLAGAintheaforesaidamountofP15,000.00,PhilippineCurrency.
CONTRARYTOLAW.[9]
InCriminalCaseNo.93129382forEstafa
ThatonoraboutandduringtheperiodcomprisedfromFebruary22,1993uptoMarch15,1993inclusive,intheCityof
Manila,Philippines,thesaidaccusedconspiringandconfederatingwithotherswhosetruenames,identitiesandpresent
whereaboutsarestillunknownandhelpingoneanotherandthenandtherewilfully,unlawfullyandfeloniouslydefraud
BENJAMING.FULGENCIOinthefollowingmanner,towit:thesaidaccusedbymeansoffalsemanifestationsand
fraudulentrepresentationswhichhe,she,theymadetothesaidBENJAMING.FULGENCIOtotheeffectthattheyhad
the power and capacity to recruit and employ BENJAMIN G. FULGENCIO as factory worker for Taiwan and could
facilitatetheprocessingofthepertinentpapersifgiventhenecessaryamounttomeettherequirementsthereofandby
meansofothersimilardeceits,induceandsucceededininducingsaidBENJAMING.FULGENCIOtogiveanddeliver,

as in fact he gave and delivered to said accused the amount ofP15,000.00 on the strength of said manifestations and
representations,saidaccusedwellknowingthatthesamearefalseandfraudulentandweremadesolely,toobtain,asin
facttheydidobtaintheamountofP15,000.00,whichamountonceintheirpossession,withintenttodefraud,wilfully,
unlawfully an feloniously misappropriated, misapplied and converted to their own personal use and benefit, to the
damage and prejudice of said BENJAMIN G. FULGENCIO in the aforesaid amount ofP15,000.00, Philippine
Currency.
CONTRARYTOLAW.[10]
InCriminalCaseNo.93129383forEstafa
ThatonoraboutandduringtheperiodcomprisedfromFebruary22,1993uptoMarch15,1993inclusive,intheCityof
Manila,Philippines,thesaidaccusedconspiringandconfederatingwithotherswhosetruenames,identitiesandpresent
whereaboutsarestillunknownandhelpingoneanotherandthenandtherewilfully,unlawfullyandfeloniouslydefraud
EDUARDONANAinthefollowingmanner,towit:thesaidaccusedbymeansoffalsemanifestationsandfraudulent
representations which he, she, they made to the said EDUARDO NANA to the effect that they had the power and
capacitytorecruitandemployEDUARDONANAasfactoryworkerforTaiwanandcouldfacilitatetheprocessingof
the pertinent papers if given the necessary amount to meet the requirements thereof and by means of other similar
deceits,induceandsucceededininducingsaidEDUARDONANAtogiveanddeliver,asinfacthegaveanddelivered
tosaidaccusedtheamountofP15,000.00onthestrengthofsaidmanifestationsandrepresentations,saidaccusedwell
knowingthatthesamearefalseandfraudulentandweremadesolely,toobtain,asinfacttheydidobtaintheamount
ofP15,000.00, which amount once in their possession, with intent to defraud, wilfully, unlawfully an feloniously
misappropriated,misappliedandconvertedtotheirownpersonaluseandbenefit,tothedamageandprejudiceofsaid
EDUARDONANAintheaforesaidamountofP15,000.00,PhilippineCurrency.
CONTRARYTOLAW.[11]
AndinCriminalCaseNo.93129384forEstafa
ThatonoraboutMarch19,1993,intheCityofManila,Philippines,thesaidaccusedconspiringandconfederatingwith
others whose true names, identities and present whereabouts are still unknown and helping one another and then and
there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously defraud JOCELYNE DEVEZA Y GARCIA in the following manner, to
wit:the said accused by means of false manifestations and fraudulent representations which he, she, they made to
JOCELYNE DEVEZA Y GARCIA to the effect that they had the power and capacity to recruit and employ
BENJAMING.FULGENCIOasfactoryworkerforTaiwanandcouldfacilitatetheprocessingofthepertinentpapersif
given the necessary amount to meet the requirements thereof and by means of other similar deceits, induce and
succeededininducingsaidJOCELYNEDEVEZAYGARCIAtogiveanddeliver,asinfactshegaveanddeliveredto
said accused the amount ofP15,000.00 on the strength of said manifestations and representations, said accused well
knowingthatthesamearefalseandfraudulentandweremadesolely,toobtain,asinfacttheydidobtaintheamount
ofP15,000.00, which amount once in their possession, with intent to defraud, wilfully, unlawfully an feloniously
misappropriated,misappliedandconvertedtotheirownpersonaluseandbenefit,tothedamageandprejudiceofsaid
JOCELYNDEVEZAYGARCIAintheaforesaidamountofP15,000.00,PhilippineCurrency.
CONTRARYTOLAW.[12]
OnJanuary17,1994,withtheaccusedenteringnegativepleastoallaboveaccusations,uponarraignmentwiththe
assistance of counsel, trial ensued with the prosecution presenting Nestor Dizon, Edwin Ortiz, Lamberto Pinga,
BenjaminFulgencio,JocelynDeveza,LeonardoBrozo,WesleyPajarillaga,andRobertoPerezasitswitnesses.
Forthedefense,theaccusedtookthewitnessstandasthelonewitnessonhisbehalf.
TestifiedonbytheabovenamedwitnessesandassummarizedbytheSolicitorGeneralintheAppelleesBrief,the
versionofthePeoplerunsasfollows:
I
ComplaintNestorDizon,xxx,isakumpadreofWilliamRamos,brotherinlawofappellantErnestoBorromeo(p.2,
TSN,February7,1994).InFebruary1993,William(orWilly)RamosxxxintroducedDizontoappellantandhiswife
ElizabethRamosatWillyshouse(pp.2&4,15&16,TSN,Feb.7,1994).WillyRamosinformedDizonthatappellant
andhiswifewereinneedofpeopletoworkasfactoryworkerinTaiwan(p.2,TSN,ibid).Dizonthenverifiedfrom
Elizabeth Borromeo whether they really needed workers for Taiwan and she confirmed such information (p.2,

TSN,ibid).Appellant also told Dizon that he can go to Taiwan but he has to wait for a while (p. 3, TSN, Feb. 7,
1994).Dizonimmediatelytoldappellantandhiswifethathewantedtoapplyforthejobasworkerinatextilefactoryin
Taiwan.TheBorromeocoupletoldDizonthataspartofhisjobapplication,heshouldgivetheamountofP40,000.00
(p. 3, TSN,ibid.).They told Dizon that he can go to Taiwan sometime in April (1993) if he can give the
money.Consequently,DizonacceptedtheconditionrequiringpaymentofthetotalamountofP15,000.00(pp.34,TSN,
Feb.2,1994).
OnFebruary22,1993,atthehouseofWillyRamos,at1727M.NatividadSt.DizongavetoElizabethBorromeo,inthe
presenceofappellant,P3,000.00forhismedicalexpenses(pp.35,TSN,Feb.2,1994Exh.A)andP12,000.00(Exh.
B)asdownpaymentfortheP40,000.00,inclusiveofthemedicalexpenses(pp.45,TSN,ibid.).Afterwards,Elizabeth
issuedtwo(2)receiptsforthesaidamounts(Exhs.AandB).AppellantandhiswifeElizabethassuredthathewillbe
leavingsometimeinApril1993.Dizonaskedthespouseswhytheyfailedtosendhimabroadandtheyexplainedthat
theywerestillarrangingtheprocessingofhispapersincludingpassport,applicationpapers,biodata,birthcertificate,
marriagecontractandotherdocuments(pp.56,TSN,Feb.7,1994).Xxx
xxxxxxxxx
II
xxxEdwinOrtizisaresidentof1718M.NatividadSt.,Sta.Cruz,Manila(p.15,TSN,Feb.7,1994).InFebruary1993,
he was introduced to appellant by William (Willy) Ramos at the latters house at 1727 M. Natividad St., Sta. Cruz,
Manila.Beforesuchmeeting,WillyRamoshadpreviouslyinformedOrtizthatappellantandthelatterswifeElizabeth,
sisterofWilliamRamos,arerecruitingworkersforTaiwan(pp.1516,TSN,Feb.7,1994).Thereafter,Ortiztalkedto
thespousesandtheyconfirmedthattheycansendworkerstoTaiwan(p.18,TSN,Feb.7,1994).Ortizthentoldthem
thathewasinterestedinapplyingforajobinTaiwan(pp.1718,TSN,Feb.7,1994).Thereandthen,Ortizappliedwith
theBorromeospousesxxx
Eventually, the Borromeo spouses told Ortiz and his fellow applicants that they each had to undergo medical
examination and payP15,000.00 and theP3,000.00 thereof will answer for the medical examination fees while
theP12,000.00 will be for the processing of their papers (p. 19, TSN, Feb. 7, 1994).Consequently, Ortiz paid to
appellanttheP3,000.00forthemedicalexaminationforwhichareceiptwasissued(Exh.C)OnMarch3,1993,hepaid
the amount ofP8,000.00 (orP4,000.00 each) for himself and fellow jobapplicant Lamberto Pinga to appellant who
handedthemoneytohiswifewhothenissuedareceipttherefor(pp.2022,TSN,Feb.7,1994Exhs.E,E1).
Later, Ortiz paid anotherP10,000.00 (P5,000 each) for himself and his coapplicant Lamberto Pinga who handed the
moneytohiswifeandthelatterlikewiseissuedinthenameofOrtizareceiptfortheP10,000.00(Exhs.D,D1pp.20
23,TSN,Feb.7,1994).Subsequently,appellantpromisedtoOrtizandLambertoPingathataftertheprocessingoftheir
papers,theycangotoTaiwanwithinthemonthofMay1993xxx
xxxxxxxxx
III
Eduardo Nana, one of the complainants xxx .In the first week of February 1993, he learned from his friend Willy
RamosxxxthathissisterElizabethRamosBorromeoandherhusbandErnestoBorromeo(appellant)neededworkersto
besentabroad(pp.1921,TSN,Feb.9,1994).NanatoldWillyRamosthathewasinterestedtoapply(p.20,TSN,Feb.
9,1994).xxx
xxxxxxxxx
xxxAppellanthisspouseconfirmedthattheycanhelpNanagoabroadbuthehastopayP3,000.00andP12,000.00for
processing of documents (p. 21, TSN, Feb. 9, 1994).Nana agreed to pay the price and applied for job as a factory
workerwhichaccordingtothecouple,fetchedasalaryofaround$800.00amonth(pp.2223,TSN,ibid).
OnFebruary22,1993,NanapaidP3,000.00toElizabethRamosBorromeowhothenhandedtheamounttoappellant
whothencountedthemoney(pp.2324,TSN,Feb.9,1994).Afterwards,sheissuedareceiptfortheamountcontaining
hersignatures(pp.2425,TSN,Feb.9,1994Exh.H).SuchpaymentwasmadeatthehouseofWillyRamosxxx
Appellant assured Nana that if he completes payment of the additionalP12,000.00, Nana could go to Taiwan (p. 25,
TSN,ibid.).Accordingly,NanamadeasecondpaymentintheamountofP12,000.00totheBorromeocoupleonMarch
15, 1993 (Exh. I pp. 2526, TSN, Feb. 9, 1994).Subsequently, Elizabeth RamosBorromeo issued a receipt for said

amountwhereshesignedbothherandappellantsname(pp.2330,TSN,Feb.9,1994).However,despitesuchpayment,
Nanawasunabletogoabroadasappellantandhiswifehadpromisedhim(p.26,TSN,Feb.9,1994).xxx
xxxxxxxxx
IV
OnMarch1,1993,LambertoPingametappellantxxxwhenheappliedwithhimforajobinTaiwanasfactoryworker
(pp.24,TSN,Feb.14,1994).AppellanttoldPingathathehadtopaytheprocessingfeeofthepapersintheamount
ofP15,000.00beforecouldgotoTaiwan(pp.47,TSN,Feb.14,1994).PingamadeapartialpaymentofP3,000.00on
the same day for which a receipt in yellow pad dated March 1, 1993 was issued (pp. 45, TSN, Feb. 14, 1994, Exh.
G).xxx
xxxxxxxxx
xxxHemadeanotherpartialpaymentonMarch17,1993jointlywithOrtizintheamountofP10,000.00forhimselfand
EdwinOrtiz(orP5,000.00foreachofthem)forwhichreceiptwasissued(pp.910,TSN,Feb.14,1994,Exh.DD
1).Atthetimethathemadethepayments,appellantswifeandbrotherinlawwerealsopresent(pp.912,TSN,Feb.14,
1994).Later,PingamadeanotherpaymentintheamountofP1,600.00toappellantsbrotherinlawWilliamRamosbut
noreceiptthereforwasissued(pp.1112,TSN,Feb.14,1994).
Notwithstandinghispayments,nothinghappenedtoPingasapplication.xxx
V
BenjaminFulgencio,oneofthecomplainantsinthesubjectCriminalCaseisaresidentof1918M.NatividadSt.,Sta.
Cruz, Manila xxx.In 1993, he (sic) learned from Willy Ramos by phone that appellant, Ernesto Borromeo, Willys
brotherinlawwhomhehadpreviouslymet1989,andhiswifeElizabethRamosBorromeowererecruitingworkersfor
Taiwan(pp.24,TSN,ibid.).xxx
They eventually met at the house of Willy Ramos and Fulgencio verified from the Borromeo spouses whether they
could really send workers in Taiwan.xxxThey told him that as part of his application, he had to pay a total
ofP15,000.00,P3,000.00 andP12,000.00 of which will answer for the medical expenses and processing of papers,
respectively(pp.45,TSN,Feb.21,1994).ThecoupletoldhimthatthetotalamounttobepaidisP40,000.00andthat
theP15,000.00 is only partial payment while theP25,000.00 balance thereof will be paid through salary deductions
whenheisalreadyinTaiwan(pp.45,TSN,ibid.).Fulgencioaccededtotheaforesaidconditionandpaidtoappellant
theP3,000.00 for which a receipt was issued to him but which receipt has been misplaced (pp. 5, TSN, Feb. 21,
1994).AppellantFulenciowasgiventhereceiptfortheP3,000.00hepaidtoappellanttowhomhegavethemoneybut
itwassignedbyMrs.Borromeo(pp.45,TSN,Feb.21,1994).FulgenciolikewisepaidtheP12,000.00forwhichhe
wasissuedareceipt(pp.56,TSN,Feb.21,1994,Exh.J,J1).Aftersuchpayment,appellanttoldFulgenciothathis
salary will be $800.00 monthly (pp. 67, TSN, Feb. 21, 1994).Thereafter, the couple told Fulgencio that he will be
leavingforabroadsometimeinApril1993(p.7,TSN,ibid.).However,whenApril1993came,Fulgenciowasunableto
leaveforabroadandnothingresultedfromhisapplication(p.7,TSN,Feb.21,1994).xxx
VI
JocelynDevesaisaresidentof1714M.NatividadSt.,Sta.Cruz,ManilaxxxIn1993,she(sic)learnedfromherfriend
andneighborWilliam(Willy)RamosthathisbrotherinlawErnestoBorromeo(appellant)andhiswifeBethBorromeo,
Willy's sister, were recruiting workers for Taiwan (p.2, TSN, Feb. 23, 1994).Jocelyn asked Willy whether they are
licensedrecruitersandheansweredthattheywere(p.6,TSN,Feb.23,1994).HetoldhertheyareconnectedwithEER
employmentagencylocatedatEDSA,QuezonCity(p.6,TSN,ibid.).xxx
xxxTheytalkedabouttheexpensestheywillincurandthedateoftheirdepartureinconnectionwiththejobinTaiwan
(p.3,TSN,Feb.23,1994).xxxShetoldtheapplicants,includingJocelyn,thatthetotalamountisP45,000.00andthat
theP15,000.00 should be made as partial payment while theP30,000.00 will be paid through salary deduction when
theyarealreadyinTaiwan(p.3,TSN,Feb.23,1994).
OnMarch19,1993,JocelynDevesapaidtherequiredP15,000.00toappellant.HehandedtheamounttohiswifeMrs.
BethBorromeowhothenissuedareceiptwherethesignatureofBethBorromeoappearsovertheprintednameErnesto
Borromeo (Exh. "K", "K1" p.4, TSN, Feb. 23, 1994).The receipt was issued under her (Jocelyn) nickname "Joan"
(Exh."K"pp.34,TSN,Feb.23,1994).xxx
VII

Leonardo Brozo, one of the complainants, similarly learned from his acquaintance William (Willy) Ramos that his
brotherinlawErnestoBorromeoandthelatter'swifeBethBorromeowererecruitingpersonstoworkabroad.xxxHe
(sic) then applied with them for a job as a laborer (p. 7, 13, TSN, Feb., 28, 1994).They told him to submit an NBI
clearance and many others and to payP15,000.00 out of the totalP30,000.00, as applicant fee (p. 9, TSN, Feb. 28,
1994).On March 15, 1993, Brozo paidP12,000.00 for processing of his papers to appellant, who after counting the
sameturneditovertohiswifeElizabethBorromeowhothenissuedareceipttherefor(Exh."L1"pp.1213,TSN,Feb.
28,1994).HealsopaidonMarch26,1993theamountofP3,000.00toappellantwhoaftercountingthemoneyturnedit
overtoElizabethBorromeowhothenissuedareceipttherefor(Exh."L",pp.1112,TSN,Feb.28,1994).Thecouple
toldBrozothattheywillbetheonetolookforajobabroadforBrozowhowillreceiveasalaryofP30,000.00(p.1314,
TSN, Feb. 28, 1994). xxx After Brozo had paid theP15,000.00, appellant kept on promising Brozo that he can go
abroadbutappellantfailedinhispromiseandBrozowasunabletogoabroad.(p.14,TSN,Feb.28,1994).xxx
xxxxxxxxx
VIII
xxxOnFebruary16,1993,(Wesley)PajarillagapaidP3,000.00formedicalexpenses(p.9,TSN,March2,1994).He
subsequentlypaidP7,000.00onMarch18,1993andP15,000.00onMarch25,1993toappellantxxx(pp.910,TSN,
March2,1994).ReceiptfortheP15,000.00paymentwasissuedbutthesamewaslostbyPajarillaga(pp.810,TSN,
March2,1994).xxx
IX
In the first week of February 1993, Roberto Perez was introduced by Willy Ramos to Ernesto Borromeo, xxxPerez
asked appellant if he was recruiting workers for Taiwan and the latter told Perez, he can help him go there (pp. 23,
TSN, March 9, 1994).Perez told him that he was interested to go abroad if he paysP3,000.00 andP12,000 (pp. 34,
TSN, March 9, 1994).Perez applied for a job as a factory worker with a salary of $800.00 and paid the required
payments(p.45,TSN,March9,1994).HepaidtheP3,000.00andP12,000.00toappellantandhiswifeforwhicha
receiptdatedMarch15,1993wasissued(Exhs."M","M1"pp.4and6,TSN,March9,1994).
Ontheaforesaidreceipt,ElizabethBorromeoprintedherandappellant'srespectivenamesbutitwasonlyhersignature
whichappearedthereon(p.6,TSN,March9,1994).SincePerezwasunabletoleaveforTaiwandespitehispayments
and despite appellant's promises, he checked from the POEA whether appellant and his wife were duly licensed
recruiters(p.7,TSN,March9,1994).Theyfoundoutthattheywerenotlistedaslicensedrecruiters(p.7,TSN,ibid).
xxx"
Forthedefense,appellantplacedrelianceonmeredenial,testifyingthus:
xxx"that Elizabeth Ramos Borromeo is his commonlaw wife and William Ramos is his brotherinlaw.He denied
being at the house of his brotherinlaw at 1727 M. Natividad St., Sta. Cruz, Manila when the complainants were
introducedtohiscommonlawwife,neitherwashepresentwhenthecomplainantallegedlygavemoneytoElizabeth
RamosBorromeo.HedoesnotevenknowwhopreparedthereceiptsevidencingtheamountsgiventoElizabethRamos
Borromeo.Inotherwords,hewasnotaprivytoallthetransactionsthatallegedlytranspiredbetweenthecomplainants
andhiscommonlawwifeinthehouseofhisbrotherinlaw.HefurthertestifiedthatifatallthenameERBorromeo
appearsinanyorallthereceiptspreparedbyElizabethRamosBorromeo,itisnothisnamebecausehiscompletename
is Ernesto Abeso Borromeo.His initial is E.A. Borromeo and the latter initial is what appears in all the receipts
presentedbythecomplainantsduringthedirectandcrossexaminations.Hecametoknowthecomplainantsonlywhen
theywenttotheirhouseat27MaamoSt.,SikatunaVillage,Diliman,QuezonCityaccompaniedbyhisbrotherinlaw,
WilliamRamos.Allthetimehestayedathometakingcareoftheirtwochildrenandhisfightingcocks.
xxxQueriedonhowhewasarrested,heansweredthathewasonlyinvitedbytheNBIbecauseoftheproblemofhis
wife.Severalwarrantsofarrestwereissuedagainsthiswifebutwhenshecouldnotbelocatedbecauseshewasalready
inhiding,hewasdetained.Appellantdeclaredthathecannotrefundthemoneyandthemoneywasnotgiventome.
"(TSN,pp.220,May4,1994)[13]
After trial, the lower court found the evidence for the prosecution enough to convict and handed down the
judgmentappealedfrom,convictingandsentencingtheaccusedasfollows:
"WHEREFORE,judgmentisherebyrenderedconvictingtheaccusedofthecrimeofillegalrecruitmentinCrim.Cases
No.94129347andofestafainCrimCaseNo.93129376to93129384andsentenceshimtolifeimprisonmentandto
payafineofP100,000.00intheillegalrecruitmentcaseasprovidedforbyArt.38(b)andArt.39oftheLaborCodeas

amendedbyP.D.2018andinothercasessentenceshimtoanindeterminatetermofimprisonmentofTwo(2)yearsand
Four(4)monthsofprisioncorrectionalastheminimumandEight(8)yearsofPrisionmayorasthemaximumexceptin
cases93129376and93129379wheretheaccusedissentencedineachcasetoanindeterminatetermofimprisonment
fromTen(10)yearsandOne(1)dayofprisionmayorasminimum,andSeventeen(17)years,Four(4)monthsandOne
(1)dayofreclusiontemporalasmaximum.TheaccusedisalsoadjudgedliabletothecomplainantsinCrim.CasesNo.
93129376to93129384forestafatopayascivilliabilitythesumofP15,000.00foreachcomplainantexceptinCrim.
CasesNo.93129376foreachcomplainantexceptinCrim.CasesNo.93129376and93129379wheretheaccusedis
adjudged to payP22,600.00 in each of the two cases (2) to the respective complainants thereof.Accused to pay the
costs.
TheaccusedisacquittedinCaseNo.129375forlackofevidence.
SOORDERED."[14]
Tobuttresshispleaforacquittal,appellanttheorizedinhisassignmentoferrors,that:
I
"THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN GIVING FULL WEIGHT AND CREDENCE TO THE
TESTIMONIESOFTHEPROSECUTIONWITNESSESANDINDISREGARDINGTHETHEORYOF
THEDEFENSE.
II
THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN FINDING THE ACCUSEDAPPELLANT GUILTY
BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT OF THE CRIME CHARGED DESPITE INSUFFICIENCY OF
EVIDENCE."[15]
OnMarch20,1997,appellantpresentedamotiontowithdrawtheappeal.Actingthereupon,theCourtdirectedhis
counseltoconferwithappellantandascertainthevoluntarinessofsubjectmotion,andwhetherappellantwasawareof
its legal consequences.After confering with the accused on October 29, 1997, counsel prayed that the Motion to
WithdrawtheAppealbedisregarded.
The pivotal issue at bar being factual and evidentiary, the credibility of the witnesses assumes extreme
importance.Wellentrenchedtothepointofbeingelementaryisthedoctrinethatontheissueofcredibilityofwitnesses,
findingsarrivedatbythetrialcourtareaccordedgreatweightandrespectonappealbecauseofthesingularopportunity
ofthelowercourttoobservethedemeanorofthewitnessesonthewitnessstand.
"xxx Factual findings of fact of the trial court pertaining to the credibility of witnesses command great weight and
respectsinceithadtheopportunitytoobservetheirdemeanorwhiletheytestifiedincourt."xxx(Peoplev.Tanedo,266
SCRA34)
"Wellentrenched is the rule that findings of trial courts on credibility of witnesses deserve a high degree of respect.
"(Peoplev.Atad,266SCRA262)"
"Findings of the trial court which are factual in nature deserves to be respected and affirmed by the appellate
courts.xxx"(Peoplev.Magallano,266SCRA305)
"xxxUnlessthetrialjudgeplainlyoverlookedcertainfactsofsubstanceandvaluewhich,ifconsidered,mightaffectthe
resultofthecase,hisassessmentoncredibilitymustberespected."(Peoplev.Ramirez,266SCRA335)
"xxxTheageoldruleisthatthetaskofassigningvaluestothetestimoniesofwitnessesinthestandandweighingtheir
credibilityisbestlefttothetrialcourtwhichformsitsfirsthandimpressionsasawitnesstestifiesbeforeit.xxx(People
v.Sarabia,266SCRA471)
Factualfindingsandconclusionsofthetrialcourtareentitledtogreatweightandrespectandshouldnotbedisturbedon
appeal.xxx(Peoplev.Cahindo,266SCRA554)
"xxx appellate courts accord the highest respect to the assessment and testimonies of eyewitnesses by the trial court
because of its unequal opportunity to observe on the stand their demeanor and manner of testifying and to detect
whethertheyaretellingthetruthornot.xxx"(Peoplev.Navales,266SCRA569)
xxxItisdoctrinallysettledthattheevaluationofthetestimonyofthewitnessesbythetrialcourtisreceivedonappeal
withthehighestrespect,becauseithadthedirectopportunitytoobservethewitnessesonthestandanddetectifthey
weretellingthetruth.(Peoplev.Dinglasan,267SCRA26)

xxxAbsentanyshowingofafactoranycircumstancewhichthetrialcourtfailedtoappreciateandwhichhavechanged
the result if it were considered, the factual findings laid down by the trial court remain binding upon us. (People v.
Valles,267SCRA103)
Afterathoroughreviewandexaminationoftheevidenceonrecord,theCourtfindsnobasisfordisbelievingwhat
thetrialcourtoforiginfoundandarrivedat.
Appellantberatesthetrustworthinessofthecomplainingwitnesseswhonarratedhowappellantconspiredwithhis
wife, Elizabeth, and brotherinlaw, Willy Ramos, in the commission of the crimes charged.This deserves scant
consideration, however, because themodus operandiof the spouses, Ernesto Borromeo and Willy Ramos, brotherin
law of Ernesto, has been established beyond any iota of doubt, to wit:Willy Ramos recruited applicants as factory
workersinTaiwan,andintroducedhisrecruitstothespouses,ErnestoBorromeoandElizabethBorromeo,whoassured
all and sundry of their ability and preparedness to sent workers abroad, upon payment ofP15,000.00 for medical
expenses and processing fees.Cajoled by such promise and misrepresentation, the poor applicants paid the amounts
demandedofthem,onlytodiscoverlaterthatthemalefactorswerenotlicensedandauthorizedtorecruitworkersfor
overseas employment.This fact was indubitably attested to by theCertification issued by the Philippine Overseas
Employment Agency (Exhibit F).ErnestoBorromeo and Willy Ramos did not return the money of the complainants,
who were unable to work abroad as promised by the appellant Ernesto Borromeo, his wife, Elizabeth Borromeo and
brotherinlaw,WillyRamos.
As regards the theory of appellant that there was no documentary evidence evidencing that he had received,
misappropriated, misapplied and converted the money of complainants for his personal use and benefit, the straight
forwardnarrationsbythecomplainantsnegatesuchsubmissionofappellants.Complainantstestifiedasfollows:
Q.Now,didyouactuallypaytheP3,000.00formedicalexamination?
A.Yes,sir.
Q.Towhomdidyoupay?
A.ToMr.andMrs.Borromeo,sir.
Q.Towhomdidyouactuallyhandedthe(sic)themoney?
A.IgaveittoMr.Borromeo,sir,andthenhegaveittohiswife.(p.1920,TSN,February7,1994)
Q.Whenyoutestified,yousaidthattheamountofP3,000.00wasgiventotheaccusedhimselfandaccordingtoyou
theaccusedcountedthemoneyandthenitwasgiventothewife?
A.Yes,sir.(CrossexaminationofEdwinOrtiz,p.4,TSN,February9,1994).
Q.ThatwasthefirsttimeyoupaidtheamountofP3,000.00?
A.Yes,sir.
Q.Towhomdidyougavethatmoney?
A.Toboththespouses,sir.(p.2324,TSN,DirectExaminationofEdwinNana,February9,1994)
Q.DidyouactuallygivethisP3,000.00formedicalexpensesandtheP12,000.00forprocessingofthepapers?
A.Yes,sir.
Q.TowhomdidyougivethatamountofP3,000?
A.ToMr.Borromeo.(p.5,TSN,February21,1994,DirectExaminationofB.Fulgencio)
InthecaseofLimv.CourtofAppeals,271SCRA12,convertandmisappropriatewereheldtomean:
anactofusingordisposingofanotherspropertyasifitwereonesownordevotingittoapurposeorusedifferentfrom
thatagreedupon.
The following elements of estafa have been established:1) the accused defrauded another bya] abuse of
confidence orb] by means of deceit and2)the offended party or third party suffered damage or prejudice capable of
pecuniary estimation.(Tan v. Court of Appeals, 283 SCRA 30, citingPeople v. Bautista, 241 SCRA 216,People v.
Reyes, 282 SCRA 105)In the cases under scrutiny, estafa was consummated when the appellant together with wife
ElizabethandbrotherinlawWillyRamosfalselypretendedtobecapableofsendingworkersabroad,andasconvinced
bytheappellantandhiscoconspirators,thesaidapplicantsdeliveredtheirplacementfeetoappellantandhiswife.

Withrespecttothechargeofillegalrecruitment,nolessthanthePhilippineOverseasEmploymentAdministration
confirmed that the spouses Borromeo, and Willy Ramos did not have any authority or license to recruit overseas
workers.NeitherwastherearecruitmentagencysuchasEEREmploymentAgency.InPeoplev.Recio,282SCRA274,
itwasheldthat:illegalrecruitmentiscommittedwhentworequisitesconcur,towit:1)thattheoffenderhasnovalid
licenseorauthorityrequiredbylawtoenableonetolawfullyengageinrecruitmentandplacementofworkersand2)
that the offender undertakes either any activity within the meaning of recruitment and placement under Article
13(b)[16]oranyprohibitedpracticesenumeratedunderArticle34oftheLaborCodeasamended.
And in the case ofPeople v. Senoron, 267 SCRA 278, it was held that:It is the lack of necessary license or
authoritythatrenderstherecruitmentactivityunlawfulorcriminal.So,also,inPeoplev.TanTiongMeng,271SCRA
125,thisCourtheldthat:
xxxAccusedappellantsactsofacceptingplacementfeesfromjobapplicantsandrepresentingtothemthathecouldget
themjobsinTaiwanconstituterecruitmentandplacement.xxx.
There is illegal recruitment when one purports to have the ability to send a worker abroad though without
authority or license to do so.(People v. Villas, 277 SCRA 391)Accusedappellant is likewise guilty of illegal
recruitmentinalargescale.Hisoffenseofillegalrecruitmentvictimizedthree(3)ormorepersons,individuallyorasa
group.[17]
InthecaseofPeoplev.Manozca,G.R.No.109779,March13,1997theCourtsaid:
Prosecution also established that the accused by using the fictitious name Nesty Santiago and Manolito Santiago and
falsely pretending to possess the power and capacity to obtain and provide work for complainants in Singapore,
obtainedfromthecomplainantsvarioussumsofmoneyknowingfullywellthathedidnothavesuchpowerorcapacity
in violation of Article 315, paragraph 2 (a) of the Revised Penal Code.In Criminal Case No. 9013964 the amount
defrauded from Arnulfo Caampued by accused isP14,500.00 while in Criminal Case No. 9013963 the amount
defraudedfromNorlitoHularisP12,636.00
Anent the defense of denial invoked by the accused the trial court erred not in rejecting the same.In the case
ofPeoplev.Magallano,266SCRA305,theCourtrationalized:
Courtshavegenerallyviewedwithdisfavorthedefenseofdenialonaccountofitsaridityandthefacilitywithwhichan
accusedcouldconcoctthesametosuithisdefense.
All things studiedly viewed in proper perspective, the mind of the court can rest easy on finding of guilt of
appellant.
AsregardstheimposablepenaltyforthecrimesofappellantArticle315oftheRevisedPenalCode,provides:
Swindling (estafa).Any person who shall defraud another by any of the means mentioned hereinbelow shall be
punishedby:
1st.ThepenaltyofPrisioncorreccionalinitsmaximumperiodtoprisionmayorinitsminimumperiod,iftheamountof
thefraudisover12,000pesosbutdoesnotexceed22,000pesosandifsuchamountexceedsthelattersum,thepenalty
providedinthisparagraphshallbeimposedinitsmaximumperiod,addingoneyearforeachadditional10,000pesos
butthetotalpenaltywhichmaybeimposedshallnotexceedtwentyyears.xxx
Under Section 1 of Act 4103,[18]the maximum term of the penalty isthat which, in view of the attending
circumstances,couldbeproperlyimposedundertheRevisedPenalCode,andtheminimumshouldbewithintherange
of the penalty next lower to that prescribed for the offense.The penalty next lower should be based on the penalty
prescribedbytheRevisedPenalCodefortheoffense,withoutfirstconsideringanymodifyingcircumstanceattendantto
thecommissionofthecrime.Theminimumoftheindeterminatepenaltyislefttothesounddiscretionofthecourt,to
fix from within the range of the penalty next lower without reference to the periods into which it might be
subdivided.The modifying circumstances are considered only in the imposition of the maximum term of the
indeterminatesentence.[19]
In Criminal Case Nos. 93129377, 93129378, 9312938084, the amount involved in each case
isP15,000.00.Since the penalty prescribed by law therefor isprision correccionalmaximum toprision
mayorminimum, the penalty next lower thereto isprision correccionalminimum toprision
correccionalmedium.Thus, the minimum of the indeterminate sentence to be meted here should be two (2) years,
eleven(11)monthsandten(10)days.

ExplicitisthesaidIndeterminateSentenceLaw,thatthemaximumofthepenaltyshallbethatwhich,inviewof
theattendingcircumstances,couldbeproperlyimposedundertheRevisedPenalCode.Accordingly,themaximumof
subjectindeterminatesentenceofsix(6)years,eight(8)monthsandtwenty(20)daysofprisionmayor.
In Criminal Case Nos. 93129376 and 93129379, the amount involved in each case isP22,600.00.Since the
penalty prescribed by law therefor isprision correccional maximum to prision mayor minimum, to be imposed in its
maximumperiod,thepenaltynextlowerindegreeshouldbefour(4)yearsandtwo(2)monthsofprisioncorreccional,
andthemaximumpenaltythereforshouldbeseven(7)yearsandfour(4)monthsofprisionmayor,ineachcase.
WHEREFORE, the judgment of conviction appealed from is AFFIRMED, and accusedappellant is hereby
sentenced,asfollows:
(1)InCriminalCaseNo.93129374forillegalrecruitment,heissentencedtosufferlifeimprisonment,andtopay
afineofP100,000.00
(2)InCriminalCaseNos.93129376and93129379forestafa,heissentencedineachcase,toanindeterminate
penaltyoffour(4)years,two(2)months,asminimum,toseven(7)yearsandfour(4)months,asmaximum
(3)InCriminalCaseNos.93129377,93129378,9312938084forestafa,appellantissentencedineachcase,to
anindeterminatepenaltyoftwo(2)years,eleven(11)monthsandten(10)days,asminimum,tosix(6)years,eight(8)
monthsandtwenty(20)days,asmaximum,andtopaythecomplainantsP15,000.00eachand
(4) In Criminal Case No. 93129375, appellant is ACQUITTED of the crime of estafa charged, for lack of
evidencetoprovehisguiltbeyondreasonabledoubt.
Costsagainstaccusedappellant.
SOORDERED.
Romero(Chairman),Vitug,Panganiban,andGonzagaReyes,JJ.,concur.
ABDONSEGUISABAL,complainant,
vs.
HON.JOSER.CABRERA,CityJudgeofToledoCity,respondent.

MELENCIOHERRERA,J.:
InhisverifiedComplaintfiledon18June1979,AbdonSeguisabalhaschargedCityJudgeJoseR.CabreraofToledo
City with gross misconduct in office and gross ignorance of the law for having solemnized, on 14 April 1978, the
marriageofJaimeSaysonandMarlynJagonoywithouttherequisitemarriagelicensepursuanttoArticle53oftheCivil
Code,andforhavingfailedtotransmitacopyofthemarriagecontract,signedbyhimandtheparties,totheOfficeof
theLocalCivilRegistrarofToledoCitywithinfifteen(15)daysfromthedateofsolemnizationasmandatorilyrequired
byArticle68ofthesameCode.
That respondent actually solemnized said marriage without the requisite license, is shown by the marriage contract
issuedtothecontractingparties(Annexes"C","C1").Theffailuretotransmitacopyofthemarriagecontracttothe
LocalCivilRegistrarissubstantiatedbytheCertifications,bothissuedon5June1979,bytheLocalCivilRegistrarof
ToledoCity(Annex"A"and"B"),
Requiredtocomment,respondentJudgeexplained:
OnApril14,1978ataround12:00o'clocknoon,JaimeSaysonandMarlynJagonoyaccompanied
bythemotherofJaimeSaysonthefatherofMarlynJagonoyandseveralothersappearedbeforemy
OfficebringingwiththemaMarriageContracttobesolemnizedinmarriage.Iaskedthemfortheir
Marriage License but they told me that the Local Civil Registrar of Toledo City cannot issue the
same because the one incharge was not in his Office, it being already 12:00 o'clock noon. The
bridetobewasthreemonthspregnant.
Presuming that the papers were in order inasmuch as the parents were present, I solemnized the
marriagebuttoldthepartiestocomebackintheafternoontogetherwiththeMarriageLicense.The
partiesdidnotcomeintheafternoonandthepapersleftinmyofficewerelostinthemassofpaper
worksattendantintheOfficeoftheCityJudge,infact,Ihavevirtuallyforgottenaboutitmyself.

SometimeinMay1979,aboutayearafter,acryinggirlbringingwithherachildappearedbefore
meinmyofficeandIIdentifiedherasMarlynJagonoy.Sheinformedmethatherhusband,Jaime
Sayson,whowasadrafteeinthePhilippineArmydiedinanencounterwiththeMuslimrebelsin
Maguindanaoandsubsequentlydied.Thearmyauthoritieswillgiveherthebenefitsifandwhenshe
can prove that she was actually married to the said Jaime Sayson. In sympathy and fairness to
MarlynJagonoywhosemarriageIactuallysolemnized,Isearchedforthepapersandfoundthem.I
toldthefatherofMarlyntogototheLocalCivilRegistrar'sOfficeinorderthatMarriageLicense
be issued to her which he did but came back and told me that the Local Civil Registrar will not
receivethepapersandwillnotissuetheMarriageLicenseforthereasonthatthepartieshavenot
attended the Family Planning Seminar required by law before Marriage License may be issued.
Believing that Family Planning was no longer necessary inasmuch as Jaime Sayson was already
dead,IissuedtothemtheMarriageContractinorderthattheycanenjoythebenefitsaccruingJaime
Saysonwhodiedahero'sdeathintheserviceoftheflagoftheRepublic.InissuingtheMarriage
Contract,Ihaddoneitingoodfaithandinsympathyandinfairnesstothewidow,MarlynJagonoy,
whomIbelieveisentitledtothebenefitsshecouldenjoyitsimplybecauseofthetechnicalityofthe
law.TheissuanceoftheMarriageContractmadeeverybodyhappy,Theparentsoftheboyandthe
parentsofthegirlweresatisfiedandarenotevenapartytothisComplaint(Rollo,pp.910).
Respondent Judge further averred that the complainant herein was obviously illmotivated and resorted to this
administrative action out of spite because he had, on 24 November 1978, dismissed Criminal Case No. A1712 for
Alarm and Scandal filed by complainant against a certain Marcelo Rizal, and that complainant is the accused in
CriminalCaseNo.A1907forQualifiedTheftpendingbeforerespondent'sCourt.
Consideringtheadmissionsmadebyrespondent,andasobservedintheMemorandumReportdated22October1980
submitted by Deputy Court Administrator, Leo D. Medialdea, concurred in by Court Administrator, Justice Lorenzo
Relova,therewasnomoreneedforaformalinvestigationtodeterminetheadministrativeliabilityofrespondentJudge.
Respondent must be held guilty of the charge filed for in solemnizing the marriage of Jaime Sayson and Marlyn
Jagonoy on 14 April 1978 without requiring the essential prerequisite of a marriage license, respondent had
undoubtedlytransgressedArticle53(4)oftheCivilCodeintheabsenceofanyshowingthatthesubjectmarriagefalls
under marriages of an exceptional character wherein a license is not mandatorily required. Respondent was likewise
remiss in his duty under Article 68 of the Civil Code to transmit to the Local Civil Registrar of Toledo City within
fifteen(15)daysfromthedateofsolemnizationofthemarriageinquestion,acopyofthemarriagecontractdulysigned
byhimasthesolemnizingofficerandbythecontractingparties.
Thedefenseofgoodfaithinterposedbyrespondentisunavailing.Asajudicialofficer,heisexpectedtoknowthelaw
onthesolemnizationofmarriages.Hisfeelingofsympathyandfairnesstothewidow,MarlynJagonoy"cannotserveas
alicenseforhimtodeliberatelytransgressordispensewithlegalrequisites.
In view, however, of respondent's twentyseven (27) years and seven (7) months of service in the Judiciary, and
considering that he has applied for retirement under Republic Act No. 5095 due to schemic heart ailment, we have
mitigatedthecorrespondingadministrativesanction.
WHEREFORE,findingrespondentJudgetobeguiltyofgrossneglectofduty,heshallpayafineequivalenttothree(3)
monthssalary,thesametobedeductedfromhisgratuityuponhisretirementfromtheservice.
AcopyofthisDecisionshouldbeattachedtohispersonalrecord.
SOORDERED,
Teehankee,(Chairman),Makasiar,FernandezandGuerrero,JJ.,concur.
ARTHURTE,petitioner,vs.COURTOFAPPEALS,andLILIANACHOA,respondents.
DECISION
KAPUNAN,J.:
BeforeusisapetitionforreviewoncertiorariwhichseekstoreversetheDecisionoftheCourtofAppealsTenth
Division, dated 31 August 1994 in CAG.R. SPNo. 23971[1]and CAG.R. SP No. 26178[2]and the Resolution dated
October18,1996denyingpetitionersmotionforreconsideration.
Thefactsofthecaseareasfollows:

PetitionerArthurTeandprivaterespondentLilianaChoaweremarriedincivilritesonSeptember14,1988.They
didnotlivetogetherafterthemarriagealthoughtheywouldmeeteachotherregularly.Notlongafterprivaterespondent
gavebirthtoagirlonApril21,1989,petitionerstoppedvisitingher.[3]
On May 20, 1990, while his marriage with private respondent was subsisting, petitioner contracted a second
marriagewithacertainJulietaSantella(Santella).[4]
OnthebasisofacomplaintaffidavitfiledbyprivaterespondentsometimeinJune1990,whenshelearnedabout
petitionersmarriagetoSantella,aninformationchargingpetitionerwithbigamywasfiledwiththeRegionalTrialCourt
(RTC)ofQuezonCityonAugust9,1990.[5]ThiscasewasdocketedasCriminalCaseNo.Q9014409.[6]
Meanwhile, on July 20, 1990, petitioner filed in the RTC of Quezon City an action for the annulment of his
marriage to private respondent on the ground that he was forced to marry her.He alleged that private respondent
concealedherpregnancybyanothermanatthetimeoftheirmarriageandthatshewaspsychologicallyincapacitatedto
performheressentialmaritalobligations.[7]
On November 8, 1990, private respondent also filed with the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) an
administrative case against petitioner and Santella for the revocation of their respective engineering licenses on the
ground that they committed acts of immorality by living together and subsequently marrying each other despite their
knowledge that at the time of their marriage, petitioner was already married to private respondent.With respect to
petitioner, private respondent added that he committed an act of falsification by stating in his marriage contract with
Santellathathewasstillsingle.[8]
Aftertheprosecutionresteditscaseinthecriminalcaseforbigamy,petitionerfiledademurrertoevidencewith
leave of court and motion to inhibit the trial court judge for showing antagonism and animosity towards petitioners
counselduringthehearingsofsaidcase.
ThetrialcourtdeniedpetitionersdemurrertoevidenceinanOrderdatedNovember28,1990whichstatedthatthe
same could not be granted because the prosecution had sufficiently established aprima faciecase against the
accused.[9]TheRTCalsodeniedpetitionersmotiontoinhibitforlackoflegalbasis.[10]
PetitionerthenfiledwiththeCourtofAppealsapetitionforcertiorari,alleginggraveabuseofdiscretiononthe
partofthetrialcourtjudge,JudgeCezarC.Peralejo,for(1)exhibitingantagonismandanimositytowardspetitioners
counsel(2)violatingtherequirementsofdueprocessbydenyingpetitioners[motionforreconsiderationand]demurrer
toevidenceevenbeforethefilingofthesame(3)disregardingandfailingtocomplywiththeappropriateguidelinesfor
judgespromulgatedbytheSupremeCourtand(4)rulingthatinacriminalcaseonlyprimafacieevidenceissufficient
forconvictionofanaccused.ThiscasewasdocketedasCAG.R.SPNo.23971.[11]
PetitioneralsofiledwiththeBoardofCivilEngineeringofthePRC(PRCBoard),wheretheadministrativecase
fortherevocationofhisengineeringlicensewaspending,amotiontosuspendtheproceedingsthereininviewofthe
pendencyofthecivilcaseforannulmentofhismarriagetoprivaterespondentandcriminalcaseforbigamyinBranches
106and98,respectivelyoftheRTCofQuezonCity.[12]WhentheBoarddeniedthesaidmotioninitsOrderdatedJuly
16,1991,[13]petitionerfiledwiththeCourtofAppealsanotherpetitionforcertiorari,contendingthattheBoardgravely
abuseditsdiscretionin:(1)failingtoholdthattheresolutionoftheannulmentcaseisprejudicialtotheoutcomeofthe
administrative case pending before it (2) not holding that the continuation of proceedings in the administrative case
couldrendernugatorypetitionersrightagainstselfincriminationinthiscriminalcaseforbigamyagainsthimand(3)
makinganoverlysweepinginterpretationthatSection32oftheRulesandRegulationsGoverningtheRegulationand
PracticeofProfessionalsdoesnotallowthesuspensionoftheadministrativeproceedingbeforethePRCBoarddespite
thependencyofcriminaland/oradministrativeproceedingsagainstthesamerespondentinvolvingthesamesetoffacts
inothercourtsortribunals.ThispetitionwasdocketedasCAG.R.SPNo.26178.[14]
Thetwopetitionsforcertiorariwereconsolidatedsincetheyarosefromthesamesetoffacts.
On 31 August 1994, the Court of Appeals, Tenth Division, rendered the assailed decision in the consolidated
petitions.The appellate court upheld the RTCs denial of the motion to inhibit due to petitioners failure to show any
concreteevidencethatthetrialcourtjudgeexhibitedpartialityandhadprejudgedthecase.Italsoruledthatthedenialof
petitionersmotiontosuspendtheproceedingsonthegroundofprejudicialquestionwasinaccordwithlaw.[15]TheCourt
ofAppealslikewiseaffirmedtheRTCsdenialofthedemurrertoevidencefiledbypetitionerforhisfailuretosetforth
persuasive grounds to support the same, considering that the prosecution was able to adduce evidence showing the
existenceoftheelementsofbigamy.[16]

NeitherdidtheappellatecourtfindgraveabuseofdiscretiononthepartoftheBoardsOrderdenyingpetitioners
motiontosuspendproceedingsintheadministrativecaseonthegroundofprejudicialquestion.Respondentcourtheld
that no prejudicial question existed since the action sought to be suspended is administrative in nature, and the other
actioninvolvedisacivilcase.[17]
PetitionerthereafterfiledamotionforreconsiderationofthedecisionoftheCourtofAppealsbutthesamewas
denied.[18]
Hence,petitionerfiledtheinstantpetitionraisingthefollowingissues:
I
PUBLIC RESPONDENT COMMITTED A SERIOUS ERROR IN REFUSING TO SUSPEND THE LEGAL
[CRIMINALANDADMINISTRATIVE]PROCEEDINGSDESPITETHEPENDENCYOFTHECIVILCASEFOR
DECLARATIONOFNULLITYOFMARRIAGE.
II
PUBLIC RESPONDENT GRAVELY ABUSED ITS DISCRETION AND COMMITTED AN ERROR OF LAW IN
NOTHOLDINGTHATTHEDEMURRERTOEVIDENCESHOULDHAVEBEENGIVENDUECOURSE.
III
PUBLIC RESPONDENT COMMITTED A SERIOUS LEGAL ERROR IN NOT HOLDING THAT THE TRIAL
JUDGEAQUOSHOULDHAVEINHIBITEDHIMSELF.[19]
Thepetitionhasnomerit.
WhiletheterminationofCivilCaseNo.Q906205forannulmentofpetitionersmarriagetoprivaterespondent
hasrenderedtheissueoftheproprietyofsuspendingboththecriminalcaseforbigamybeforetheRTCofQuezonCity,
Branch98andtheadministrativecaseforrevocationofpetitionersengineeringlicensebeforethePRCBoardmootand
academic,theCourtshalldiscusstheissueofprejudicialquestiontoemphasizetheguardingandcontrollingprecepts
andrules.[20]
A prejudicial question has been defined as one based on a fact distinct and separate from the crime but so
intimatelyconnectedwithitthatitdeterminestheguiltorinnocenceoftheaccused,andforittosuspendthecriminal
action, it must appear not only that said case involves facts intimately related to those upon which the criminal
prosecution would be based but also that in the resolution of the issue or issues raised in the civil case, the guilt or
innocence of the accused would necessarily be determined.[21]The rationale behind the principle of suspending a
criminalcaseinviewofaprejudicialquestionistoavoidtwoconflictingdecisions.[22]
TheCourtofAppealsdidnoterrwhenitruledthatthependencyofthecivilcaseforannulmentofmarriagefiled
by petitioner against private respondent did not pose a prejudicial question which would necessitate that the criminal
caseforbigamybesuspendeduntilsaidcivilcaseisterminated.
Theoutcomeofthecivilcaseforannulmentofpetitionersmarriagetoprivaterespondenthadnobearinguponthe
determinationofpetitionersinnocenceorguiltinthecriminalcaseforbigamy,becauseallthatisrequiredforthecharge
ofbigamytoprosperisthatthefirstmarriagebesubsistingatthetimethesecondmarriageiscontracted.[23]Petitioners
argument that the nullity of his marriage to private respondent had to be resolved first in the civil case before the
criminal proceedings could continue, because a declaration that their marriage was voidab initiowould necessarily
absolvehimfromcriminalliability,isuntenable.TherulinginPeoplevs.Mendoza[24]andPeoplevs.Aragon[25]citedby
petitionerthatnojudicialdecreeisnecessarytoestablishtheinvalidityofamarriagewhichisvoidabinitiohasbeen
overturned.TheprevailingruleisfoundinArticle40oftheFamilyCode,whichwasalreadyineffectatthetimeof
petitionersmarriagetoprivaterespondentinSeptember1988.Saidarticlestatesthattheabsolutenullityofaprevious
marriage may not be invoked for purposes of remarriage unless there is a final judgment declaring such previous
marriagevoid.Thus,underthelaw,amarriage,evenonewhichisvoidorvoidable,shallbedeemedvaliduntildeclared
otherwiseinajudicialproceeding.[26]InLandichovs.Relova,[27]weheldthat:
Parties to a marriage should not be permitted to judge for themselves its nullity, for this must be submitted to the
judgmentofcompetentcourtsandonlywhenthenullityofamarriageissodeclaredcanitbeheldasvoid,andsolong
asthereisnosuchdeclarationthepresumptionofmarriageexists.[28]
Itisclearfromtheforegoingthatthependencyofthecivilcaseforannulmentofpetitionersmarriagetoprivate
respondentdidnotgiverisetoaprejudicialquestionwhichwarrantedthesuspensionoftheproceedingsinthecriminal

caseforbigamysinceatthetimeoftheallegedcommissionofthecrime,theirmarriagewas,underthelaw,stillvalid
andsubsisting.
Neitherdidthefilingofsaidcivilcaseforannulmentnecessitatethesuspensionoftheadministrativeproceedings
beforethePRCBoard.Asdiscussedabove,theconceptofprejudicialquestioninvolvesacivilandacriminalcase.We
havepreviouslyruledthatthereisnoprejudicialquestionwhereonecaseisadministrativeandtheotheriscivil.[29]
Furthermore,Section32oftheRulesandRegulationsGoverningtheRegulationandPracticeofProfessionalsof
thePRCBoardexpresslyprovidesthattheadministrativeproceedingsbeforeitshallnotbesuspendednotwithstanding
theexistenceofacriminaland/orcivilcaseagainsttherespondentinvolvingthesamefactsastheadministrativecase:
Thefilingorpendencyofacriminaland/orcivilcasesinthecourtsoranadministrativecaseinanotherjudicialbody
againstanexamineeorregisteredprofessionalinvolvingthesamefactsasintheadministrativecasefiledortobefiled
beforetheBoardshallneithersuspendnorbartheproceedingofthelattercase.TheBoardshallproceedindependently
with the investigation of the case and shall render therein its decision without awaiting for the final decision of the
courtsorquasijudicialbody.
ItmustalsobenotedthattheallegationsintheadministrativecomplaintbeforethePRCBoardarenotconfinedto
theissueoftheallegedbigamousmarriagecontractedbypetitionerandSantella.Petitionerisalsochargedwithimmoral
conductforcontinuedfailuretoperformhisobligationsashusbandtoprivaterespondentandasfathertotheirchild,and
for cohabiting with Santella without the benefit of marriage.[30]The existence of these other charges justified the
continuationoftheproceedingsbeforethePRCBoard.
Petitioner also contends that the Court of Appeals erred in upholding the trial courts denial of his demurrer to
evidenceinthecriminalcaseforbigamy,arguingthattheprosecutionfailedtoestablishtheexistenceofboththefirst
and second marriages beyond reasonable doubt.Petitioner claims that the original copy of marriage contract between
him and private respondent was not presented, the signatures therein were not properly identified and there was no
showing that the requisites of a valid marriage were complied with.He alleges further that the original copy of the
marriagecontractbetweenhimandSantellawasnotpresented,thatnoproofthathesignedsaidcontractwasadduced,
and that there was no witness presented to show that asecond marriage ceremony participated in by him ever took
place.[31]
We are not persuaded.The grant or denial of a demurrer to evidence is left to the sound discretion of the trial
court, and its ruling on the matter shall not be disturbed in the absence of a grave abuse of such discretion.[32]In this
case,theCourtofAppealsdidnotfindanygraveabuseofdiscretiononthepartofthetrialcourt,whichbaseditsdenial
ofthedemurrerontwogrounds:first,theprosecutionestablishedaprimafaciecaseforbigamyagainstthepetitioner
andsecond,petitionersallegationsinthedemurrerwereinsufficienttojustifythegrantofthesame.Ithasbeenheldthat
the appellate court will not review in a special civil action forcertiorarithe prosecutions evidence and decide in
advancethatsuchevidencehasorhasnotyetestablishedtheguiltoftheaccusedbeyondreasonabledoubt.[33]Inviewof
thetrialcourtsfindingthataprimafaciecaseagainstpetitionerexists,hisproperrecourseistoadduceevidenceinhis
defense.[34]
TheCourtalsofindsitnecessarytocorrectpetitionersmisimpressionthatbydenyinghisdemurrertoevidencein
viewoftheexistenceofaprimafaciecaseagainsthim,thetrialcourtwasalreadymakingapronouncementthatheis
liablefortheoffensecharged.AscorrectlyheldbytheCourtofAppeals,theorderoftheRTCdenyingthedemurrer
was not an adjudication on the merits but merely an evaluation of the sufficiency of the prosecutions evidence to
determinewhetherornotafullblowntrialwouldbenecessarytoresolvethecase.[35]TheRTCsobservationthatthere
wasaprimafaciecaseagainstpetitioneronlymeantthattheprosecutionhadpresentedsufficientevidencetosustainits
proposition that petitioner had committed the offense of bigamy, and unless petitioner presents evidence to rebut the
same, such would be the conclusion.[36]Said declaration by the RTC should not be construed as a pronouncement of
petitionersguilt.Itwaspreciselybecauseofsuchfindingthatthetrialcourtdeniedthedemurrer,inorderthatpetitioner
may present evidence in his defense and allow said court to resolve the case based on the evidence adduced by both
parties.
Lastly,petitionercontendsthathismotiontoinhibitJudgePeralejoinCriminalCaseNo.Q9014409shouldhave
been granted since said judge exhibited partiality and bias against him in several instances.First, when petitioner
manifestedthathewouldfileamotionforreconsiderationofthedenialofhismotiontosuspendtheproceedingsinsaid
case,thejudgesaidsuchmotionwasdilatoryandwouldbedeniedeventhoughthemotionforreconsiderationhadnot

yet been filed.Second, when petitioners counsel manifested that he had just recovered from an accident and was not
physicallyfitfortrial,thejudgecommentedthatcounselwasmerelytryingtodelaythecaseandrequiredsaidcounsel
toproduceamedicalcertificatetosupporthisstatement.Third,whenpetitionermanifestedthathewasgoingtofilea
demurrertoevidence,thejudgecharacterizedthesameasdilatoryanddeclaredthathewoulddenythesame.According
to petitioner, the judges hostile attitude towards petitioners counsel as shown in the foregoing instances justified the
grantofhismotiontoinhibit.
WeagreewiththeappellatecourtthatthegroundsraisedbypetitioneragainstJudgePeralejodidnotconclusively
showthatthelatterwasbiasedandhadprejudgedthecase.[37]InPeopleofthePhilippinesvs.CourtofAppeals,[38]this
Courtheldthatwhilebiasandprejudicehavebeenrecognizedasvalidreasonsforthevoluntaryinhibitionofajudge
underSection1,Rule137,therudimentaryruleisthatthemeresuspicionthatajudgeispartialisnotenough.There
shouldbeclearandconvincingevidencetoprovethechargeofbiasandpartiality.[39]
Furthermore, since the grounds raised by petitioner in his motion to inhibit are not among those expressly
mentionedinSection1,Rule137oftheRevisedRulesofCourt,thedecisiontoinhibithimselflaywithinthesound
discretionofJudgePeralejo.Saidprovisionoflawstates:
Section1.Disqualificationofjudges.Nojudgeorjudicialofficershallsitinanycaseinwhichhe,orhiswifeorchild,is
pecuniarily interested as heir, legatee, creditor or otherwise, or in which he is related to either party within the sixth
degreeofconsanguinityoraffinity,ortocounselwithinthefourthdegree,computedaccordingtotherulesofthecivil
law,orinwhichhehasbeenexecutor,administrator,guardian,trusteeorcounsel,orinwhichhehaspresidedinany
inferiorcourtwhenhisrulingordecisionisthesubjectofreview,withoutthewrittenconsentofallpartiesininterest,
signedbythemandenteredupontherecord.
A judge may, in the exercise of his sound discretion, disqualify himself from sitting in the case, for just and valid
reasonsotherthanthosementionedabove.
Thus,itwasnotmandatorythatthejudgeinhibithimselffromhearinganddecidingthecase.
ThisCourtdoesnotfindanyabuseofdiscretionbyrespondentjudgeindenyingpetitionersmotiontoinhibit.The
testfordeterminingtheproprietyofthedenialofsaidmotioniswhetherpetitionerwasdeprivedafairandimpartial
trial.[40]The instances when Judge Peralejo allegedly exhibited antagonism and partiality against petitioner and/or his
counsel did not deprive him of a fair and impartial trial.As discussed earlier, the denial by the judge of petitioners
motion to suspend the criminal proceeding and the demurrer to evidence are in accord with law and
jurisprudence.Neither was there anything unreasonable in the requirement that petitioners counsel submit a medical
certificatetosupporthisclaimthathesufferedanaccidentwhichrenderedhimunpreparedfortrial.Suchrequirement
was evidently imposed upon petitioners counsel to ensure that the resolution of the case was not hampered by
unnecessaryandunjustifieddelays,inkeepingwiththejudgesdutytodisposingofthecourtsbusinesspromptly.[41]
WHEREFORE,thepetitionisherebyDENIEDforlackofmerit.
SOORDERED.
ROSALIAMARTINEZ,plaintiffappellant,
vs.
ANGELTAN,defendantappellee.
WILLARD,J.:
The only question in this case is whether or not the plaintiff and the defendant were married on the 25th day of
September,1907,beforethejusticeofthepeace,JoseBallori,inthetownofPalomponintheProvinceofLeyte.
Therewasreceivedinevidenceatthetrialwhatiscalledanexpedientedematrimoniocivil.ItiswritteninSpanishand
consists, first, of a petition directed to the justice of the peace, dated on the 25th of September, 1907, signed by the
plaintiffandthedefendant,inwhichtheystatethattheyhavemutuallyagreedtoenterintoacontractofmarriagebefore
thejusticeofthepeace,andaskthatthejusticesolemnizethemarriage.Followingthisisadocumentdatedonthesame
day,signedbythejusticeofthepeace,bytheplaintiff,bythedefendant,andbyZacariasEsmeroandPacitaBallori.It
states the presentation of the petition above mentioned that the persons who signed it where actually present in the
office of the justice on the same day named that they ratified under oath the contents of the petition, and that they
insisted in what they had there asked for. It also stated that being required to produce witnesses of the marriage, the
presentedZacariasEsmeroasawitnessforthehusbandandPacitaBalloriasawitnessforthewife.Followingthisisa

certificateofmarriagesignedbythejusticeofthepeaceandthewitnessesZacariasEsmeroandPacitaBallori,datedthe
25thdayofSeptember,1907,inwhichitisstatedthattheplaintiffandthedefendantwerelegallymarriedbythejustice
ofthepeaceinthepresenceofthewitnessesonthatday.
The court below decided the case in favor of the defendant, holding that the parties were legally married on the day
named.Theevidenceinsupportofthatdecisionis:First.Thedocumentitself,whichtheplaintiffadmitsthatshesigned.
Second.Theevidenceofthedefendant,whotestifiesthatheandsaidplaintiffappearedbeforethejusticeofthepeaceat
the time named, together with the witness Zacarias Esmero and Pacita Ballori, and that they all signed the document
above mentioned. Third. The evidence of Zacarias Esmero, one of the abovenamed witnesses, who testifies that the
plaintiff, the defendant, and Pacita Ballori appeared before the justice at the time named and did sign the document
referred to. Fourth. The evidence of Pacita Ballori, who testified to the same effect. Fifth. The evidence of Jose
Santiago, the bailiff of the court of the justice of the peace, who testified that the plaintiff, the defendant, the two
witnessesabovenamed,andthejusticeofthepeacewereallpresentintheofficeofthejusticeofthepeaceatthetime
mentioned.
Theonlydirectevidenceinfavoroftheplaintiffisherowntestimonythatsheneverappearedbeforethejusticeofthe
peaceandneverwasmarriedtothedefendant.Sheadmitsthatshesignedthedocumentinquestion,butsaysthatshe
signed it in her own home, without reading it, and at the request of the defendant, who told her that it was a paper
authorizinghimtoasktheconsentofherparentstothemarriage.
There is some indirect evidence which the plaintiff claims supports her case, but which we think, when properly
considered,isnotentitledtomuchweight.Theplaintiffatthetimewasvisiting,inthetownofPalompon,hermarried
brotherandwasthereforabouttwoweeks.Thewifeofherbrother,RosarioBayot,testifiedthattheplaintiffneverleft
thehouseexceptinhercompany.Butsheadmittedoncrossexaminationthatsheherselfwenttoschooleverymorning
andthatononeoccasiontheplaintiffhadgonetochurchunaccompanied.Thetestimonyofthiswitnesslosesitsforce
whenthetestimonyofPacitaBalloriisconsidered.Shesaysthatattherequestofthedefendantonthedaynamed,about
5 o'clock in the afternoon, she went to the store of a Chinese named Veles that there she met the plaintiff and her
motherthatsheaskedthemotheroftheplaintifftoallowtheplaintifftoaccompanyher,thewitness,toherownhouse
forthepurposeofexaminingsomedresspatternsthatthemothergaveherconsentandthetworightsleftthestore,but
instead of going to the house of the witness they went directly to the office of the justice of the peace where the
ceremony took place that after the ceremony had taken place, one came advising them that the mother was
approaching, and that they thereupon hurriedly left the office of the justice and went to the house of Pacita Ballori,
wherethemotherlaterfoundthem.
Theothertestimonyoftheplaintiffrelatingtocertainstatementsmadebythejusticeofthepeace,whodiedafterthe
ceremony was performed and before the trial, and certain statements made by Pacita Ballori, is not sufficient to
overcomethepositivetestimonyofthewitnessesforthedefendant.
TheothertestimonyofPacitaBalloriisseverelycriticizedbycounselfortheappellantinhisbrief.Itappearsthatduring
herfirstexaminationshewasseizedwithanhystericalattackandpracticallycollapsedatthetrial.Herexaminationwas
adjournedtoafuturedayandwascompletedinherhousewhereshewassickinbed.Itisclaimedbycounselthather
collapsewasduetothefactthatsherecognizedthatshetestifiedfalselyinstatingtheofficeofthejusticeofthepeace
was at the time in the municipal building, when, in fact, it was in a private house. We do not think that the record
justifies the claim of the appellant. The statement as to the location of the office of the justice of the peace was
afterwardscorrectedbythewitnessandwearesatisfiedthatshetoldthefactssubstantiallyastheyoccurred.
Thereis,moreover,inthecasewrittenevidencewhichsatisfiesusthattheplaintiffwasnottellingthetruthwhenshe
said she did not appear before the justice of the peace. This evidence consists of eight letters, which the defendant
claimswereallwrittenbytheplaintiff.Theplaintiffadmitsthatshewrotelettersnumbered2and9.Theauthenticityof
theotherswasproven.No.9isasfollows:
ANGEL:UptothistimeIdidnotseemyfatherbutIknowthatheisveryangryandifhebeinformedthat
wehavebeenmarriedcivilly,Iamsurethathewillturnmeoutofthehouse.
Dowhatyoumaydeemconvenient,asIdon'tknowwhattodo.
ShouldIbeabletogotomorrowtoMerida,Ishalldoso,becauseIcannotremainhere.
Yours,ROSAL.

LetterNo.6,whichbearsnodate,butwhichundoubtedlywaswrittenonthemorningofthe25thofSeptember,isas
follows:
Sr.D.ANGEL,TAN.
ANGEL:ItisimpossibleformetogotothehouseofVelesthismorningbecausemysisterinlawwillnotlet
megothereifitsuitsyou,Ibelievethatthisafternoon,about5or6o'clock,isthebesthour.
Arrange everything, as I shall go there only for the purpose of signing, and have Pacita wait for me at the
Chinesestore,becauseIdon'tliketogowithoutPacita.
Thehousemustbeonebelongingtoprudentpeople,andnooneshouldknowanythingaboutit.
Yours,ROSAL.
ItwillbenoticedthatthiscorroboratescompletelythetestimonyofPacitaBalloriastohermeetingtheplaintiffinthe
afternoonatthestoreoftheChinese,Veles.LetterNo.7isalsoundated,butwasevidentlywrittenafterthemarriage
beforethejusticeofthepeace.Itisasfollows:
Sr.D.ANGEL,TAN.
ANGEL:Ifyouwanttospeaktomymother,whoisalsoyours,comeherebyandby,atabout9or10,when
youseethatthetideishighbecausemybrotherwillhavetogototheboatforthepurposeofloadinglumber.
Don't tell her that we have been civilly married, but tell her at first that you are willing to celebrate the
marriageatthistime,becauseIdon'tlikehertoknowtodaythatwehavebeenatthecourthouse,inasmuch
asshetoldmethismorningthatsheheardthatwewouldgotothecourt,andthatwemustnotcausehertobe
ashamed,andthatifIinsistonbeingmarriedImustdoitright.
Tellheralsothatyouhaveaskedmetocarryyou.
Isendyouherewiththeletterofyourbrother,inorderthatyoumaydowhathewishes.
Yours,ROSAL.
LetterNo.8wasalsoevidentlywrittenafterthemarriageandisinpartasfollows:
Sr.D.ANGELTAN.
ANGEL:IbelieveitisbetterforyoutogotoOrmoconSundayofthesteamerRosa,forthepurposeofasking
myfather'spermissionforourmarriage,andincasehefailstogiveit,thenweshalldowhatwedeemproper,
and,ifhedoesnotwishustomarrywithouthispermission,youmustrequesthisconsent.
Tellmewhosaidthatmysisterinlawknowsthatwearecivillymarriedmybrotherilltreatmentisamatter
ofnoimportance,aseverythingmaybecarriedout,withpatience.
ItwasprovenatthetrialthatthedefendantdidgotoOrmoconthesteamerRosaasindicatedinthisletter,andthatthe
plaintiff was on the same boat. The plaintiff testified, however, that she had no communication with the defendant
during the voyage. The plaintiff and the defendant never lived together as husband and wife, and upon her arrival in
Ormoc, after consulting with her family, she went to Cebu and commenced this action, which was brought for the
purpose of procuring the cancellation of the certificate of marriage and for damages. The evidence strongly
preponderatesinfavorofthedecisionofthecourtbelowtotheeffectthattheplaintiffappearedbeforethejusticeofthe
peaceatthetimenamed.
Itisclaimedbytheplaintiffthatwhattookplacebeforethejusticeofthepeace,evenadmittingallthatthewitnessesfor
thedefendanttestifiedto,didnotconstitutealegalmarriage.Generalorders,No.68,section6,isasfollows:
Noparticularformfromtheceremonyofmarriageisrequired,butthepartiesmustdeclareinthepresenceof
thepersonsolemnizingthemarriage,thattheytakeeachotherashusbandandwife.
ZacariasEsmero,oneofthewitnesses,testifiedthatupontheoccasioninquestionthejusticeofthepeacesaidnothing
until after the document was signed and then addressing himself to the plaintiff and the defendant said, "You are
married."Thepetitionsignedtheplaintiffanddefendantcontainedapositivestatementthattheyhadmutuallyagreedto
bemarriedandtheyaskedthejusticeofthepeacetosolemnizethemarriage.Thedocumentsignedbytheplaintiff,the
defendant,andthejusticeofthepeace,statedthattheyratifiedunderoath,beforethejustice,thecontentsofthepetition
andthatwitnessesofthemarriagewereproduced.Amortgagetookplaceasshownbythecertificateofthejusticeof
thepeace,signedbybothcontractingparties,whichcertificatesgivesrisetothepresumptionthattheofficerauthorized
themarriageindueform,thepartiesbeforethejusticeofthepeacedeclaringthattheytookeachotherashusbandand

wife,unlessthecontraryisproved,suchpresumptionbeingcorroboratedinthiscasebytheadmissionofthewomanto
the effect that she had contracted the marriage certified to in the document signed by her, which admission can only
meanthepartiesmutuallyagreedtouniteinmarriagewhentheyappearedandsignedthesaiddocumentwhichsostates
beforethejusticeofthepeacewhoauthorizedthesame.Itwasproventhatboththeplaintiffandthedefendantwere
abletoreadandwritetheSpanishlanguage,andthattheyknewthecontentsofthedocumentwhichtheysignedand
underthecircumstancesinthisparticularcaseweresatisfied,andsohold,thatwhattookplacebeforethejusticeofthe
peaceonthisoccasionamountedtoalegalmarriage.
The defendant's original answer was a general denial of the allegations contained in the complaint. Among these
allegationswasastatementthatthepartieshadobtainpreviouslytheconsentoftheplaintiff'sparents.Thedefendant
was afterwards allowed to amend his answer so that it was a denial of the allegations of the complaint except that
relating to the condition in regard to the consent of the parents. The plaintiff objected to the allowance of this
amendment.Afterthetrialhadcommencedthedefendantwasagainallowedtoamendhisanswersothatitshouldbean
admissionofparagraphs2and3ofthecomplaint,exceptthatpartwhichrelatedtotheconsentoftheparents.Itwillbe
seenthatthissecondamendmentdestroyedcompletelythefirstamendmentandthedefendantslawyerstatedthatwhat
heintendedtoallegeinhisfirstamendment,butbyreasonofthehastewithwhichthefirstamendmentwasdrawnhe
hadunintentionallymadeitexactlytheoppositeofwhathehadintendedtostate.Afterargumentthecourtallowedthe
secondamendment.Wearesatisfiedthatinthisallowancetherewasnoabuseofdiscretionandwedonotseehowthe
plaintiffwasinanywayprejudiced.Sheproceededwiththetrialofthecasewithoutaskingforacontinuance.
Thejudgmentofthecourtbelowacquittingthedefendantofthecomplaintisaffirmed,withthecostsofthisinstance
againsttheappellant.
Arellano,C.J.,Torres,Mapa,Johnson,andCarson,JJ.,concur.
MELECIOMADRIDEJO,assistedbyhisguardianadlitem,PedroMadridejo,plaintiffappellee,
vs.
GONZALODELEON,ETAL.,defendantsappellants.
VILLAREAL,J.:
Thisisarehearsingoftheappealtakenbythedefendants,GonzalodeLeonetal.fromthejudgmentoftheCourtof
FirstInstanceofLagunaholdingasfollows:
Wherefore,thecourtfindsthatMelecioMadridejoisDomingodeLeon'snextofkin,andherebyordersthe
defendantsincaseNo.5258torestoreanddelivertheownershipandpossessionofthepropertydescribedin
thecomplaintsfiledintheaforesaidcase,toMelecioMadridejo,withoutcost.Soordered.
Insupportoftheirappealthedefendantsassignthefollowingallegederrorsascommittedbythetrialcourt,towit:
1.ThelowercourterredinholdingthatthemarriagebetweenPedroMadridejoandFlavianaPerezisvalid.
2.Thelowercourtalsoerredindeclaringthatsolelybecauseofthesubsequentmarriageofhisparents,the
appelleeMelecioMadridejo,anaturalchild,waslegitimated.
3.Thelowercourtlastlyerredinnotrenderingjudgmentinfavorofthedefendantsandappellants.
Therelevantfactsnecessaryforthedecisionofallthequestionsoffactandoflawraisedhereinareasfollows:
EulogiodeLeonandFlavianaPerez,manandwife,hadbutonechild,DomingodeLeon.Thewifeandsonsurvived
Eulogio de Leon, who died in the year 1915. During her widowhood, Flaviana Perez lived with Pedro Madridejo, a
bachelor.TheregistryofbirthsofthemunicipalityofSiniloan,Laguna,showsthatonJune1,1917,achildwasbornto
Pedro Madridejo and Flaviana Perez, which was named Melecio Madridejo, the necessary data being furnished by
PedroMadridejo(ExhibitB).OnJune17,1917,a24dayoldchildofSiniloan,Laguna,asasonofFlavianaPerez,no
mentionbeingmadeofthefather(Exhibit2).OnJuly8,1920,FlavianaPerez,beingatdeath'sdoor,wasmarriedto
PedroMadridejo,abachelor,30yearsofage,bytheparishpriestofSiniloan(ExhibitA).Shediedonthefollowing
day,July9,1920,leavingDomingodeLeon,hersonbyEulogiodeLeon,andtheplaintiffappelleeMelecioMadridejo,
aswellasherallegedsecondhusband,PedroMadridejo.DomingodeLeondiedonthe2ndofMay,1928.
Withregardtothefirstassignmentoferror,themerefactthattheparishpriestofSiniloan,Laguna,whomarriedPedro
Madridejo and Flaviana Perez, failed to send a copy of the marriage certificate to the municipal secretary does not
invalidatethemarriageinarticulomortis,itnotappearingthattheessentialrequisitesrequiredbylawforitsvalidity

were lacking in the ceremony, and the forwarding of a copy of the marriage certificate is not one of said essential
requisites.
Touching the second assignment of error, there has been no attempt to deny that Melecio Madridejo, the plaintiff
appellee,isthenaturalsonofthePedroMadridejoandFlavianaPerez,Theonlyquestiontobedecidediswhetherthe
subsequentmarriageofhisparentslegitimatedhim.
Article121oftheCivilCodeprovides:
Art. 121. Children shall be considered as legitimated by a subsequent marriage only when they have been
acknowledgedbytheparentsbeforeorafterthecelebrationthereof.
According to this legal provision, in order that a subsequent marriage may be effective as a legitimation, the natural
children born out of wedlock must have been acknowledged by the parents either before or after its celebration. The
Civil Code has established two kinds of acknowledgment: voluntary and compulsary. Article 131 provides for the
voluntaryacknowledgmentbythefatherormotherasfollows:
Art.131.Theacknowledgmentofanaturalchildmustbemadeintherecordofbirth,inawill,orinsome
otherpublicdocument.
Article135providesforthecompulsaryacknowledgmentbythefather,thus:
Art.135.Thefathermaybecompelledtoacknowledgehisnaturalchildinthefollowingcases:
1.Whenanindisputablepaperwrittenbyhim,expresslyacknowledginghispaternity,isinexistence.
2. When the child has been in the uninterrupted possession of the status of a natural child of the defendant
father,justifiedbytheconductofthefatherhimselfofthatofhisfamily.
3. In cases of rape, seduction, or abduction, the provisions of the Penal Code with regard to the
acknowledgmentoftheissue,shallbeobserved.
Article136providingforthecompulsoryacknowledgmentbythemother,reads:
Art.136.Themothermaybecompelledtoacknowlegdehernaturalchild:
1.Whenthechildis,withrespecttothemother,includedinanyofthecasesmentionedinthenextpreceding
article.
2.Whenthefactofthebirthandtheidentityofthechildarefullyproven.
Letusseewhethertheplaintiffappellee,MelecioMadridejo,hasbeenacknowledgedbyhisparentsPedroMadridejo
andFlavianaPerez,underanyoftheprovisionsabovequoted.
To begin with the father, no document has been adduced to show that he has voluntarily acknowledged Melecio
Madridejo as his son, except the registry certificate of birth, Exhibit B. This, of course, is not the record of birth
mentioned in the law, for it lacks the requisites of article 48 of the Law of Civil Registry. It, no doubt, is a public
instrument, but it has neither been executed nor signed by Pedro Madridejo, and contains no statement by which he
acknowledges Melecio Madridejo to be his son. Although as Pedro Madridejo testified, he furnished the municipal
secretary of Siniloan with necessary data for recording the birth of Melecio Madridejo, and although said official
inscribed the data thus given in the civil registry of births, this is not sufficient to bring it under the legal provision
regardingacknowledgmentbyapublicdocument.
Astothemother,itdoesnotappearthatFlavianaPerezsuppliedthedatasetforthinthecivilregistryofbirths,Exhibit
B,orinthebaptismalregister,whereofExhibit2isacertificate,andwhichconstitutesfinalproofonlyofthebaptism,
andnotofthekinshiporparentageofthepersonbaptized(Adrianovs.DeJesus,23Phil.,350).Furthermore,church
registersofbaptismarenolongerconsideredpublicdocuments(UnitedStatesvs.Evangelista,29Phil.,215).
Melecio Madridejo, then, was not voluntarily acknowledged by Pedro Madridejo or Flaviana Perez, either before or
aftertheirmarriage.1awph!l.net
DidPedroMadridejoacknowledgeMelecioMadridejoashisson,bycompulsion?
Thecompulsoryacknowledgmentbythefatherestablishedinarticle135oftheCivilCode,andbythemotheraccording
to article 136, requires that the natural child take judicial action against the father or mother, or against the persons
setting themselves up as the heirs of both, for the purpose of compelling them to acknowledge him as a natural son
throughajudgmentofthecourt.

IntheinstantactionbroughtbyMelecioMadridejonotonlyhashenotdemandedtobeacknowledgedasanaturalchild,
whichistheconditionprecedenttoestablishinghislegitimationbythesubsequentmarriageandhisrighttotheestateof
hisuterinebrother,DomingodeLeon,buthehasnotevenimpleadedeitherhisfatherPedroMadridejo,ortheheirsof
hismother,FlavianaPerez,inorderthatthecourtmighthaveauthoritytomakeavalidandeffectivepronouncementof
hisbeinganaturalchild,andtocompelthemtoacknowledgehimassuch.
Theplaintiffappelleeallegesthatthesecondparagraphofthedefendants'answeramountstoanadmissionthatheis
indeed Flaviana Perez's son, and relieves him of the burden of proving that his mother acknowledged him as a son
before her marriage. Such an admission would have been affective if the present action had been brought for the
purposeofcompellingFlavianaPerezorherheirstoacknowledgetheappelleeasherson.
In view of the foregoing, it is evident that Melecio Madridejo has not been acknowledged by Pedro Madridejo and
FlavianaPerez,eithervoluntarilyorbycompulsion,beforeoraftertheirmarriage,andthereforesaidmarriagedidnot
legitimatehim.
Wherefore, the judgment is reversed, the complaint dismissed, and the defendants absolved with costs against the
appelleewithoutprejudicetoanyrighthemayhavetoestablishorcompelhisacknowledgmentasthenaturalsonof
PedroMadridejoandFlavianaPerez.Soordered.
Avancea,C.J.,Street,Malcolm,Villamor,OstrandandRomualdez,JJ.,concur.
SeparateOpinions
JOHNS,J.,dissenting:
Idissentandthejudgmentofthelowercourtshouldbeaffirmed.
ARTURIO TRINIDAD,petitioner, vs.COURT OF APPEALS, FELIX TRINIDAD (deceased) and LOURDES
TRINIDAD,respondents.
DECISION
PANGANIBAN,J.:
Intheabsenceofamarriagecontractandabirthcertificate,howmaymarriageandfiliationbeproven?
TheCase
This is the main question raised in this petition for review oncertiorarichallenging the Court of
Appeals[1]DecisionpromulgatedonDecember1,1994[2]andResolutionpromulgatedonFebruary8,1995[3]inCAGR
CVNo.23275,whichreversedthedecisionofthetrialcourtanddismissedpetitionersactionforpartitionanddamages.
On August 10, 1978, Petitioner Arturio Trinidad filed a complaint[4]for partition and damages against Private
Respondents Felix and Lourdes, both surnamed Trinidad, before the Court of First Instance of Aklan, Branch I.[5]On
October28,1982,Felixdiedwithoutissue,sohewasnotsubstitutedasaparty.[6]
OnJuly4,1989,thetrialcourtrenderedatwentypagedecision[7]infavorofthepetitioner,inwhichitruled:[8]
Considering therefore that this court is of the opinion that plaintiff is the legitimate son of Inocentes
Trinidad,plaintiffisentitledtoinheritthepropertyleftbyhisdeceasedfatherwhichis1/3ofthe4parcelsof
land subject matter of this case.Although the plaintiff had testified that he had been receiving [his] share
from said land before and the same was stopped, there was no evidence introduced as to what year he
stoppedreceivinghisshareandforhowmuch.Thiscourtthereforecannotruleonthat.
InitsfourpageDecision,RespondentCourtreversedthetrialcourtonthegroundthatpetitionerfailedtoadduce
sufficientevidencetoprovethathisparentswerelegallymarriedtoeachotherandthatacquisitiveprescriptionagainst
himhadsetin.TheassailedDecisiondisposed:[9]
WHEREFORE,theCourtREVERSEStheappealeddecision.
Inlieuthereof,theCourtherebyDISMISSESthe[petitioners]complaintandthecounterclaimthereto.
Withoutcosts.
RespondentCourtdeniedreconsiderationinitsimpugnedResolutionwhichreads:[10]
The Court DENIES defendantsappellants motion for reconsideration, dated December 15, 1994, for lack of
merit.Therearenoneworsubstantialmattersraisedinthemotionthatmeritthemodificationofthedecision.
Hence,thispetition.[11]

TheFacts
TheassailedDecisionrecitesthefactualbackgroundofthiscase,asfollows:[12]
On August 10, 1978, plaintiff [herein petitioner] filed with the Court of First Instance of Aklan, Kalibo,
Aklan,anactionforpartitionoffour(4)parcelsofland,describedtherein,claimingthathewasthesonof
thelateInocentesTrinidad,oneofthree(3)childrenofPatricioTrinidad,whowastheoriginalownerofthe
parcelsofland.PatricioTrinidaddiedin1940,leavingthefour(4)parcelsoflandtohisthree(3)children,
Inocentes,LourdesandFelix.In1970,plaintiffdemandedfromthedefendantstopartitionthelandintothree
(3) equal shares and to give him the onethird (1/3) individual share of his late father, but the defendants
refused.
In their answer, filed on September 07, 1978, defendants denied that plaintiff was the son of the late
InocentesTrinidad.DefendantscontendedthatInocenteswassinglewhenhediedin1941,beforeplaintiffs
birth.Defendants also denied that plaintiff had lived with them, and claimed that the parcels of land
describedinthecomplainthadbeenintheirpossessionsincethedeathoftheirfatherin1940andthatthey
hadnotgivenplaintiffashareintheproduceoftheland.
PatricioTrinidadandAnastaciaBrionesweretheparentsofthree(3)children,namely,Inocentes,Lourdes
andFelix.WhenPatriciodiedin1940,survivedbytheabovenamedchildren,heleftfour(4)parcelsofland,
allsituatedatBarrioTigayon,KaliboAklan.
ArturioTrinidad,bornonJuly21,1943,claimedtobethelegitimatesonofthelateInocentesTrinidad.
Arturio got married in 1966 to Candelaria Gaspar, at the age of twenty three (23).Sometime after the
marriage,Arturiodemandedfromthedefendantsthattheabovementionedparcelsoflandbepartitionedinto
three (3) equal shares and that he be given the onethird (1/3) individual shares of his late father, but
defendantsrefused.
Inordertoappreciatemoreclearlytheevidenceadducedbybothparties,thisCourtherebyreproducespertinent
portionsofthetrialcourtsdecision:[13]
EVIDENCEFORTHEPLAINTIFF:
Plaintiff presented as his first witness, Jovita Gerardo, 77 years old, (at the time she testified in 1981) who is the
barangaycaptainofbarrioTigayon,Kalibo,Aklan,since1972.Shetestifiedthatbeforebeingelectedasbarriocaptain
sheheldthepositionofbarriocouncilwomanfor4years.Alsoshewas[amemberofthe]boardofdirector[s]ofthe
ParentTeachers Association of Tigayon, Kalibo, Aklan.That she knows the plaintiff because they are neighbors and
sheknowshimfromthetimeofhisbirth.SheknowsthefatheroftheplaintiffasInocentesTrinidadandhismother
Felicidad Molato both were already dead, Inocentes having died in 1944 and his wife died very much later.Witness
recallsplaintiffwasbornin1943inBarrioTigayon,Kalibo,Aklan,onJuly21,1943.Atthetimeofthebirthofthe
plaintiff,thehouseofthewitnesswasabout30metersawayfromplaintiffsparents[]houseandsheusedtogothere2or
3timesaweek.Thatsheknowsboththedefendantsastheyarealsoneighbors.ThatbothFelixandLourdesTrinidad
are the uncle and aunt of Arturio because Inocentes Trinidad who is the father of the plaintiff is the brother of the
defendants,FelixandLourdesTrinidad.ShetestifiedshealsoknowsthatthefatherofInocentes,FelixandLourdes[,]
all surnamed Trinidad[,] was Patricio Trinidad who is already dead but left several parcels of land which are the 4
parcelssubjectofthislitigation.Thatsheknowsallthese[parcelsof]landbecausetheyarelocatedinBarrioTigayon.
When asked about the adjoining owners or boundaries of the 4 parcels of land, witness answered and mentioned the
respectiveadjoiningowners.Thatsheknewthese4parcelsbelongedtoPatricioTrinidadbecausesaidPatricioTrinidad
was a native also of Barrio Tigayon.Said Patricio died before the [war] and after his death the land went to his 3
children, namely: Inocentes, Felix and Lourdes.Since then the land was never partitioned or divided among the 3
childrenofPatricio.
A picture, Exhibit A, was shown to the witness for identification and she identified a woman in the picture as the
defendant, Lourdes Trinidad.A man with a hat holding a baby was identified by her as Felix Trinidad, the
defendant.The other woman in the picture was pointed by the witness as the wife of the plaintiff, Arturio
Trinidad.WhenaskedifArturioTrinidadandLourdesTrinidadandFelixTrinidadpointedtobyherinthepictureare
thesameArturio,FelixandLourdes,whoaretheplaintiffandthedefendantsinthiscase,witnessansweredyes.

Another picture marked as Exhibit B was presented to the witness for identification.She testified the woman in this
picture as Lourdes Trinidad.In said picture, Lourdes Trinidad was holding a child which witness identified as the
childArturioTrinidad.Whenaskedbythecourtwhenxxxthepicture[was]taken,counselfortheplaintiffanswered,in
1966.When asked if Arturio Trinidad was baptized, witness answered yes, as she had gone to the house of his
parents.WitnessthenidentifiedthecertificateofbaptismmarkedasExhibitC.ThenameArturioTrinidadwasmarked
asExhibitC1andthenameofInocentesTrinidadandFelicidadMolatoasfatherandmotherrespectively,weremarked
asExhibitC2.ThedateofbirthbeingJuly21,1943wasalsomarked.ThesignatureofMonsignorIturraldewasalso
identified.
Oncrossexamination,witnesstestifiedthatshe[knew]thelandinquestionverywellassheusedtopassbyitalways.It
waslocatedjustnearherhousebutshecannotexactlytelltheareaasshemerelypassesbyit.Whenaskedifshe[knew]
thephotographerwhotookthepicturespresentedasExhibitAandB,witnessansweredshedoesnotknowasshewas
notpresentduringthepicturetaking.However,shecanidentifyeverybodyinthepictureassheknowsallofthem.
Atthisstageofthetrial,FelixTrinidad[died]withoutissueandhewassurvivedbyhisonlysister,LourdesTrinidad,
whoishiscodefendantinthiscase.
NextwitnessfortheplaintiffwasISABELMERENwhowas72yearsoldandawidow.Shetestifiedhavingknown
InocentesTrinidadasthefatherofArturioTrinidadandthatInocentes,FelixandLourdesarebrothersandsisterand
thattheirfatherwasPatricioTrinidadwholeftthem4parcelsofland.ThatsheknewInocentesTrinidadandFelicidad
MolatowhoaretheparentsofArturio,theplaintiff,weremarriedinNewWashington,Aklan,byaprotestantpastorby
thenameofLaurianoLajaylajay.ThatsheknowsFelicidadMolatoandLourdesTrinidadverywellbecauseasafarmer
shealsoownsaparcelofland[and]sheusedtoinviteFelicidadandLourdestohelpherduringplantingandharvesting
season.ThatsheknowsthatduringthelifetimeofInocentesthethreeofthem,Inocentes,FelixandLourdespossessed
and usufructed the 4 parcels they inherited from their father, Patricio.That upon the death of Inocentes, Lourdes
TrinidadwasinpossessionofthepropertywithoutgivingthewidowofInocentesanyshareoftheproduce.AsLourdes
outlivedhertwobrothers,namely:FelixandInocentes,shewastheonepossessingandusufructingthe4parcelsofland
uptothepresent.ThewitnesstestifiedthatuponthedeathofInocentes,LourdestookArturioandcaredforhimwhen
hewasstillsmall,about3yearsold,untilArturiogrewupandgotmarried.ThatwhileArturiowasgrowingup,hehad
alsoenjoyedtheproduceofthelandwhilehewasbeingtakencareofbyLourdesTrinidad.Thatamisunderstanding
lateronarosewhenArturioTrinidadwantedtogethisfatherssharebutLourdesTrinidadwillnotgiveittohim.
Plaintiff, ARTURIO TRINIDAD, himself, was presented as witness.He testified that defendants, Lourdes and Felix
Trinidad,arehisauntanduncle,theybeingthebrotherandsisterofhisfather.Thattheparentsofhisfatherandthe
defendants were Patricio Trinidad and Anastacia Briones.That both his father, Inocentes Trinidad, and mother,
FelicidadMolato,werealreadydeadhavingdiedinTigayon,hisfatherhavingdiedin1944andhismotherabout25
yearsago.
AsproofthatheisthesonofInocentesTrinidadandFelicidadMolato,heshowedacertificateofbaptismwhichhad
beenpreviouslymarkedasExhibitC.ThathisbirthcertificatewasburnedduringWorldWar2buthehasacertificate
oflossissuedbytheCivilRegistrarofKalibo,Aklan.
Whenhewas14yearsold,thedefendantsinvitedhimtolivewiththembeingtheirnephewashismotherwasalready
dead.Plaintiffsmotherdiedwhenhewas13yearsold.Theytreatedhimwellandprovidedforallhisneeds.Helived
withdefendantsfor5years.Attheageof19,heleftthehouseofthedefendantsandlivedonhisown.Hegotmarriedat
23toCandelariaGasparandthentheywereinvitedbythedefendantstolivewiththem.Soheandhiswifeandchildren
livedwiththedefendants.Asproofthatheandhisfamilylivedwiththedefendantswhenthelatterinvitedhimtolive
with them, he presented a picture previously marked as Exhibit B where there appears his aunt, Lourdes Trinidad,
carrying plaintiffs daughter, his uncle and his wife.In short, it is a family picture according to him.Another family
picture previously marked Exhibit A shows his uncle, defendant Felix Trinidad, carrying plaintiffs son.According to
him,these2picturesweretakenwhenheandhiswifeandchildrenwerelivingwiththedefendants.Thatafewyears
afterhavinglivedwiththem,thedefendantsmadethemvacatethehouseforherequestedforpartitionofthelandtoget
his share.He moved out and looked for [a] lawyer to handle his case.He testified there are 4 parcels of land in
controversyofwhichparcel1isanupland.

Parcel1is1,000squaremeters,[has]10coconuttreesandfruitbearing.Theharvestis100coconutsevery4months
andthecostofcoconutsisP2.00each.Theboundariesare:EastFedericoInocencioWestTeoduloDionesioNorth
TeoduloDionesioandSouthBulalioBrioneslocatedatTigayon.
Parcel2isanuplandwithanareaof500squaremetersithasonly1coconuttreeand1bamboogroovealsolocatedin
Tigayon, Kalibo, Aklan.Adjoining owners are : EastAmbrosio Trinidad NorthFederico Inocencio WestPatricio
TrinidadandSouthGregorioBriones.
Parcel3isabout12,000squaremetersand1/4ofthatbelongstoPatricioTrinidad,thedeceasedfatherofthedefendants
andInocentes,thefatheroftheplaintiff.
Parcel4isaricelandwithanareaof5,000squaremeters.Theharvestis40cavanstwotimesayears[sic].Adjoining
ownersare:EastGregorioBrionesWestBulalioBrionesSouthFedericoInocencioandNorthDignaCarpio.
Parcel1isLotNo.903.
Parcel2isLotNo.864ofthecadastralsurveyofKaliboandonlyLot864Awithanareaof540squaremetersisthe
subjectoflitigation.
Parcel3isLotNo.979ofthecadastralsurveyofKalibocoveredbyTaxDecl.No.703310withreferencetooneofthe
ownersoftheland,PatricioTrinidadmarriedtoAnastaciaBriones,onehalfshare.
Parcel4iscoveredbyOriginalCertificateofTitleNo.22502RO174coveringLotNo.863ofthecadastralsurveyof
Kalibo.ThetitleisinthenameofPatricioTrinidadmarriedtoAnastaciaBriones.
Parcel1iscoveredbyTaxDecl.No.11609inthenameofPatricioTrinidadwhileparcel2iscoveredbyTaxDecl.No.
10626inthenameofAnastaciaBrionesandanotherTaxDeclarationNo.11637forParcel3inthenameofAmbrosio
TrinidadwhileParcel4iscoveredbyTaxDecl.No.16378inthenameofPatricioTrinidad.
Oncrossexamination,plaintifftestifiedthatduringthelifetimeofhismothertheyweregettingtheshareintheproduce
ofthelandlikecoconuts,palayandcorn.PlaintifffurthertestifiedthathisfatherisInocentesTrinidadandhismother
wasFelicidadMolato.TheyweremarriedinNewWashington,Aklan,byacertainAtty.Lajaylajay.Whenaskedifthis
Atty.LajaylajayisamunicipaljudgeofNewWashington,Aklan,plaintiffansweredhedoesnotknowbecausehewas
not yet born at that time.That he does not have the death certificate of his father who died in 1944 because it was
wartime.Thatafterthedeathofhisfather,helivedwithhismotherandwhenhismotherdied[,]helivedwithhisaunt
anduncle,thedefendantsinthiscase.Thatduringthelifetimeofhismother,itwashismotherreceivingtheshareofthe
produce of the land.That both defendants, namely Lourdes and Felix Trinidad, are single and they have no other
nephewsandnieces.That[petitioners]highesteducationalattainmentisGrade3.
EVIDENCEFORTHEDEFENDANTS:
FirstwitnessforthedefendantswasPEDROBRIONES,68yearsold,unemployedandaresidentofNalook,
Kalibo,Aklan.Hetestifiedhavingknownthedefendants,FelixandLourdesTrinidad.Theybeinghisfirst
cousinsbecausethemotherofLourdesandFelixbythenameofAnastaciaBrionesandhisfatheraresister
andbrother.ThathealsoknewInocentesTrinidadbeingthebrotherofFelixandLourdesandheisalready
dead.According to the witness, Inocentes Trinidad [died] in 1940 and at the time of his death Inocentes
Trinidadwasnotmarried.ThatheknewthisfactbecauseatthetimeofthedeathofInocentesTrinidadhe
wasthenresidingwithhisaunt,NanayTaya,referringtoAnastaciaBrioneswhoismotherofthedefendants,
Felix and Lourdes Trinidad, as well as Inocentes Trinidad.That at the time of the death of Inocentes
Trinidad,accordingtothiswitnesshestayedwithhisaunt,AnastaciaTrinidad,andwithhischildrenbefore
1940foronly3months.WhenaskedifheknewInocentesTrinidadcohabitedwithanybodybeforehisdeath,
he answered, That I do not know, neither does he kn[o]w a person by the name of Felicidad
Molato.Furthermore,whenaskedifhecanrecallifduringthelifetimeofInocentesTrinidadwitnessknew
of anybody with whom said Inocentes Trinidad had lived as husband and wife, witness, Pedro Briones,
answeredthathecouldnotrecallbecausehewastheninManilaworking.Thatafterthewar,hehadgone
back to the house of his aunt, Anastacia, at Tigayon, Kalibo, as he always visit[s] her every Sunday,
however, he does not know the plaintiff, Arturio Trinidad.When asked if after the death of Inocentes
Trinidad, he knew anybody who has stayed with the defendants who claimed to be a son of Inocentes
Trinidad,witness,PedroBriones,answered:Idonotknowaboutthat..

Oncrossexamination,witnesstestifiedthatalthoughhewasborninTigayon,Kalibo,Aklan,hestartedto
resideinNalook,Kalibo,asthehereditarypropertyoftheirfatherwaslocatedthere.Whenaskedifhewas
awareofthe4parcelsoflandwhichisthesubjectmatterofthiscasebeforethecourt,witnessansweredthat
he does not know.What he knew is that among the 3 children of Patricio Trinidad, Inocentes is the
eldest.AndthatatthetimeofthedeathofInocentesin1940,accordingtothewitnesswhencrossexamined,
InocentesTrinidadwasaround65yearsold.Thataccordingtohim,hisaunt,AnastaciaBriones,wasalready
dead before the war.When asked on cross examination if he knew where Inocentes Trinidad was buried
whenhediedin1940,witnessansweredthathewasburiedintheirownlandbecausetheJapaneseforces
wereroamingaroundtheplace.WhenconfrontedwithExhibitAwhichistheallegedfamilypictureofthe
plaintiffandthedefendants,witnesswasabletoidentifytheladyinthepicture,whichhadbeenmarkedas
ExhibitA1,asLourdesTrinidad,andthemanwearingahatonthesaidpicturemarkedasExhibit2Ais
Felix Trinidad.However, when asked if he knew the plaintiff, Arturio Trinidad, he said he does not know
him.
Nextwitnessforthedefendantswasthedefendantherself,LOURDESTRINIDAD.Shestatedthatsheis75
yearsold,singleandjobless.ShetestifiedthatInocentesTrinidadwasherbrotherandheisalreadydeadand
hediedin1941inTigayon,Kalibo,Aklan.Thatbeforethedeathofherbrother,InocentesTrinidad,hehad
gone to Manila where he stayed for a long time and returned to Tigayon in 1941.According to her, upon
arrivalfromManilain1941hisbrother,InocentesTrinidad,livedonlyfor15daysbeforehedied.Whilehis
brotherwasinManila,witnesstestifiedshewasnotawarethathehadmarriedanybody.Likewise,whenhe
arrived in Tigayon in 1941, he also did [not] get married.When asked if she knew one by the name of
Felicidad Molato, witness answered she knew her because Felicidad Molato was staying in
Tigayon.However,accordingtoher[,]shedoesnotkn[o]wifherbrother,InocentesTrinidad,hadlivedwith
FelicidadMolatoashusbandandwife.Whenaskedifsheknewtheplaintiff,ArturioTrinidad,shesaid,Yes,
butshedeniedthatArturioTrinidadhadlivedwiththem.Accordingtothewitness,ArturioTrinidaddidnot
livewiththedefendantsbuthestayedwithhisgrandmotherbythenameofMariaConcepcion,hismother,
Felicidad Molato, having died already.When asked by the court if there had been an instance when the
plaintiff had lived with her even for days, witness answered, he did not.When further asked if Arturio
Trinidadwenttovisitherinherhouse,witnessalsosaid,Hedidnot.
Upon cross examination by counsel for the plaintiff, Lourdes Trinidad testified that her parents, Anastacia
Briones and Patricio Trinidad, had 3 children, namely: Inocentes Trinidad, Felix Trinidad and herself.But
inasmuchasFelixandInocentesarealreadydead,sheistheonlyremainingdaughterofthespousesPatricio
TrinidadandAnastaciaBriones.Defendant,LourdesTrinidad,testifiedthatherbrother,FelixTrinidad,died
withoutawifeandchildren,inthesamemannerthatherbrother,InocentesTrinidad,diedwithoutawifeand
children.She herself testified that she does not have any family of her own for she has [no] husband or
children.Accordingtoher[,]whenInocentesTrinidad[died]in1941,theyburiedhimintheirprivatelotin
TigayonbecausenobodywillcarryhiscoffinasitwaswartimeandthemunicipalityofKalibowasoccupied
bytheJapaneseforces.WhenfurthercrossexaminedthatI[t]couldnotbetruethatInocentesTrinidaddied
in March 1941 because the war broke out in December 1941 and March 1941 was still peace time, the
witnesscouldnotanswerthequestion.WhenshewaspresentedwithExhibitAwhichistheallegedfamily
picturewhereinshewasholdingwas[sic]thechildofArturioTrinidad,sheansweredYes.andthechildthat
sheisholdingisClaritaTrinidad,childofArturioTrinidad.Accordingtoher,shewasonlyrequestedtohold
this child to be brought to the church because she will be baptized and that the baptism took place in the
parishchurchofKalibo.Whenaskediftherewasaparty,sheansweredMaybetherewas.Whenconfronted
withExhibitA1whichisherselfinthepicturecarryingthechild,witnessidentifiedherselfandexplained
thatshewasrequestedtobringthechildtothechurchandthatthepicturetakentogetherwithherbrotherand
ArturioTrinidadandthelatterschildwastakenduringthetimewhensheandArturioTrinidaddidnothavea
caseincourtyet.ShelikewiseidentifiedthemanwithahatholdingachildmarkedasExhibitA2asher
brother,Felix.Whenaskedifthechildbeingcarriedbyherbrother,FelixTrinidad,isanotherchildofthe
plaintiff, witness answered she does not know because her eyes are already blurred.Furthermore, when
askedtoidentifythewomaninthepicturewhowasattherightofthechildheldbyherbrother,Felix,and
whowaspreviouslyidentifiedbyplaintiff,ArturioTrinidad,ashiswife,witnessansweredthatshecannot

identifybecauseshehadapooreyesightneithercansheidentifyplaintiff,ArturioTrinidad,holdinganother
childinthepictureforthesamereason.Whenaskedbycounselfortheplaintiffifsheknowsthattheone
whotookthispicturewasthesonofAmbrosioTrinidadbythenameofJulitoTrinidadwhowasalsotheir
cousin,witnesstestifiedthatshedoesnotknow.
Third witness for the defendants was BEATRIZ TRINIDAD SAYON who testified that she knew Arturio
Trinidad because he was her neighbor in Tigayon.In the same manner that she also knew the defendants,
FelixandLourdes,andInocentesallsurnamedTrinidadbecausetheywerehercousins.Shetestifiedthata
fewmonthsafterthewarbrokeoutInocentesTrinidaddiedintheirlolashousewhosenameswasEugenia
RufoTrinidad.ShefurthertestifiedthatInocentesTrinidadhadlivedalmostinhislifetimeinManilaandhe
wenthomeonlywhenhisfatherfetchedhiminManilabecausehewasalreadysick.Thataccordingtoher,
about 1 months after his arrival from Manila, Inocentes Trinidad died.She also testified that she knew
FelicidadMolatoandthatFelicidadMolatohadneverbeenmarriedtoInocentesTrinidad.Accordingtoher,
itwasin1941whenInocentesTrinidaddied.Accordingtohershewasbornin1928,therefore,shewas13or
14yearsoldwhenthewarbrokeout.Whenaskedifshecanrememberthatitwasonlyintheearlymonthsof
the year 1943 when the Japanese occupied Kalibo, she said she [was] not sure.She further testified that
InocentesTrinidadwasburiedintheirprivatelotbecauseKalibowasthenoccupiedbytheJapaneseforces
andnobodywouldcarryhisbodytobeburiedinthePoblacion.
For rebuttal evidence, [petitioner] presented ISABEL MEREN, who was 76 years old and a resident of
Tigayon.Rebuttalwitnesstestifiedthatxxxsheknewboththe[petitioner]andthe[privaterespondents]in
thiscaseverywellasherhouseisonlyaround200metersfromthem.Whenaskedifitistruethataccording
to Lourdes Trinidad, [Inocentes Trinidad] arrived from Manila in 1941 and he lived only for 15 days and
died,witnesstestifiedthathedidnotdieinthatyearbecausehediedintheyear1944,andthatInocentes
Trinidad lived with his sister, Lourdes Trinidad, in a house which is only across the street from her
house.Accordingtothesaidrebuttalwitness,itisnottruethatInocentesTrinidaddiedsinglebecausehehad
awifebythenameofFelicidadMolatowhomhemarriedonMay5,1942inNewWashington,Aklan.That
sheknewthisfactbecauseshewaspersonallypresentwhencouplewasmarriedbyLaurianoLajaylajay,a
protestantpastor.
Oncrossexamination,rebuttalwitnesstestifiedthatwhenInocentesTrinidadarrivedfromManilahewasin
good physical condition.That she knew both Inocentes Trinidad and Felicidad Molato to be Catholics but
that according to her, their marriage was solemnized by a Protestant minister and she was one of the
sponsors.ThatduringthemarriageofInocentesTrinidadandFelicidadMolato,LourdesTrinidadandFelix
Trinidadwerealsopresent.
When plaintiff, ARTURIO TRINIDAD, was presented as rebuttal witness, he was not able to present a
marriagecontractofhisparentsbutinsteadacertificationdatedSeptember5,1978issuedbyoneRemedios
EleseriooftheLocalCivilRegistraroftheMunicipalityofNewWashington,Aklan,attestingtothefactthat
recordsofbirths,deaths,andmarriagesinthemunicipalityofNewWashingtonweredestroyedduringthe
Japanesetime.
RespondentCourtsRuling
Infindingthatpetitionerwasnotachild,legitimateorotherwise,ofthelateInocentesTrinidad,RespondentCourt
ruled:[14]
Wesustaintheappealonthegroundthatplaintiffhasnotadducedsufficientevidencetoprovethatheisthe
sonofthelateInocentesTrinidad.Buttheactiontoclaimlegitimacyhasnotprescribed.
Plaintiffhasnotestablishedthathewasrecognized,asalegitimatesonofthelateInocentesTrinidad,inthe
recordofbirthorafinaljudgment,inapublicdocumentoraprivatehandwritteninstrument,orthathewas
incontinuouspossessionofthestatusofalegitimatechild.
Two witnesses, Pedro Briones and Beatriz Trinidad Sayon, testified for the defendants that Inocentes
Trinidad never married.He died single in 1941.One witness, Isabel Maren, testified in rebuttal for the
plaintiff, that Inocentes Trinidad married Felicidad Molato in New Washington, Aklan, on May 5, 1942,
solemnizedbyapastoroftheprotestantchurchandthatsheattendedtheweddingceremony(t.s.n.Sept.6,

1988,p.4).Hence,therewasnopreponderantevidenceofthemarriage,norofInocentesacknowledgmentof
plaintiffashisson,whowasbornonJuly21,1943.
The right to demand partition does not prescribe (de Castro vs. Echarri, 20 Phil. 23).Where one of the
interested parties openly and adversely occupies the property without recognizing the coownership
(Cordovavs.Cordova,L9936,January14,1958)acquisitiveprescriptionmaysetin(FlorenzD.Regalado,
RemedialLawCompendium,Vol.I,FifthRevisedEdition,1988,p.497).Admittedly,thedefendantshave
been in possession of the parcels of land involved in the concept of owners since their father died in
1940.Evenifpossessionbecountedfrom1964,whenplaintiffattainedtheageofmajority,still,defendants
possessed the land for more than ten (10) years, thus acquiring ownership of the same by acquisitive
prescription(Article1134,CivilCodeofthePhilippines).
TheIssues
Petitionersubmitsthefollowingissuesforresolution:[15]
1.Whether or not petitioner (plaintiffappellee) has proven by preponderant evidence the marriage of his
parents.
2.Whetherornotpetitioner(plaintiffappellee)hasadducedsufficientevidencetoprovethatheisthesonof
the late Inocentes Trinidad, brother of private respondents (defendantsappellants) Felix and Lourdes
Trinidad.
3.WhetherornottheFamilyCodeisapplicabletothecaseatbar[,]thedecisionoftheRegionalTrialCourt
havingbeenpromulgatedonJuly4,1989,aftertheFamilyCodebecameeffectiveonAugust3,1988.
4.Whether or not petitioners status as a legitimate child can be attacked collaterally by the private
respondents.
5.Whether or not private respondent (defendantsappellants) have acquired ownership of the properties in
questionbyacquisitiveprescription.
Simplystated,themainissuesraisedinthispetitionare:
1.Didpetitionerpresentsufficientevidenceofhisparentsmarriageandofhisfiliation?
2.Waspetitionersstatusasalegitimatechildsubjecttocollateralattackintheactionforpartition?
3.Washisclaimtimebarredundertherulesonacquisitiveprescription?
TheCourtsRuling
Themeritsofthispetitionarepatent.ThepartitionofthelatePatriciosrealpropertiesrequirespreponderantproof
that petitioner is a coowner or coheir of the decedents estate.[16]His right as a coowner would, in turn, depend on
whether he was born during the existence of a valid and subsisting marriage between his mother (Felicidad) and his
putativefather(Inocentes).ThisCourtholdsthatsuchburdenwassuccessfullydischargedbypetitionerand,thus,the
reversaloftheassailedDecisionandResolutionisinevitable.
FirstandSecondIssues:EvidenceofandCollateral
AttackonFiliation
Attheoutset,westressthatanappellatecourtsassessmentoftheevidencepresentedbythepartieswillnot,asa
rule,bedisturbedbecausetheSupremeCourtisnotatrieroffacts.Butinthefaceofthecontradictoryconclusionsofthe
appellateandthetrialcourts,suchruledoesnotapplyhere.So,wehadtometiculouslyporeovertherecordsandthe
evidenceadducedinthiscase.[17]
PetitionersfirstburdenistoprovethatInocentesandhismother(Felicidad)werevalidlymarried,andthathewas
bornduringthesubsistenceoftheirmarriage.This,accordingtoRespondentCourt,hefailedtoaccomplish.
ThisCourtdisagrees.Pugedavs.Trias[18]ruledthatwhenthequestionofwhetheramarriagehasbeencontracted
arises in litigation,saidmarriagemaybeprovenby relevant evidence.To prove the fact of marriage, the following
would constitute competent evidence: the testimony of a witness to the matrimony, the couples public and open
cohabitation as husband and wife after the alleged wedlock, the birth and the baptismal certificates of children born
duringsuchunion,andthementionofsuchnuptialinsubsequentdocuments.[19]
In the case at bar, petitioner secured a certification[20]from the Office of the Civil Registrar of Aklan that all
records of births, deaths and marriages were either lost, burned or destroyed during the Japanese occupation of said

municipality.This fact, however, is not fatal to petitioners case.Although the marriage contract is considered the
primaryevidenceofthemaritalunion,petitionersfailuretopresentitisnotproofthatnomarriagetookplace,asother
formsofrelevantevidencemaytakeitsplace.[21]
In place of a marriage contract, two witnesses were presented by petitioner: Isabel Meren, who
testifiedthatshewaspresentduringthenuptialofFelicidadandInocentesonMay5,1942inNewWashington,Aklan
andJovitaGerardo,whotestifiedthatthecoupledeportedthemselvesashusbandandwifeafterthemarriage.Gerardo,
the77yearoldbarangaycaptainofTigayonandformerboardmemberofthelocalparentteachersassociation,usedto
visitInocentesandFelicidadshousetwiceorthriceaweek,asshelivedonlythirtymetersaway.[22]OnJuly21,1943,
Gerardo dropped by Inocentes house when Felicidad gave birth to petitioner.She also attended petitioners baptismal
party held at the same house.[23]Her testimony constitutes evidence of common reputation respecting marriage.[24]It
furthergivesrisetothedisputablepresumptionthatamanandawomandeportingthemselvesashusbandandwifehave
entered into a lawful contract of marriage.[25]Petitioner also presented his baptismal certificate (Exhibit C) in which
InocentesandFelicidadwerenamedasthechildsfatherandmother.[26]
Ontheotherhand,filiationmaybeprovenbythefollowing:
ART.265.ThefiliationoflegitimatechildrenisprovedbytherecordofbirthappearingintheCivilRegister,
orbyanauthenticdocumentorafinaljudgment.
ART.266.Intheabsenceofthetitlesindicatedintheprecedingarticle,thefiliationshallbeprovedbythe
continuouspossessionofstatusofalegitimatechild.
ART. 267.In the absence of a record of birth, authentic document, final judgment or possession of status,
legitimatefiliationmaybeprovedbyanyothermeansallowedbytheRulesofCourtandspeciallaws.[27]
Petitionersubmittedinevidenceacertification[28]thatrecordsrelativetohisbirthwereeitherdestroyedduringthe
lastworldwarorburnedwhentheoldtownhallwasrazedtothegroundonJune17,1956.Toprovehisfiliation,he
presentedinevidencetwofamilypictures,hisbaptismalcertificateandGerardostestimony.
The first family picture (Exhibit A) shows petitioner (Exhibit A5) carrying his second daughter and his wife
(Exhibit A4) together with the late Felix Trinidad (Exhibit A2) carrying petitioners first daughter, and Lourdes
Trinidad(ExhibitA1).ExhibitBisanotherpictureshowingLourdesTrinidad(ExhibitB1)carryingpetitionersfirst
child (Exhibit B2).These pictures were taken before the case was instituted.Although they do not directly prove
petitioners filiation to Inocentes, they show that petitioner was accepted by the private respondents as Inocentes
legitimatesonantelitemmotam.
Lourdesdenialsofthesepicturesarehollowandevasive.WhilesheadmittedthatExhibitBshowsherholding
ClaritaTrinidad,thepetitionersdaughter,shedemurredthatshedidsoonlybecauseshewasrequestedtocarrythechild
beforeshewasbaptized.[29]WhenshownExhibitA,sherecognizedherlatebrotherbutnotpetitioner,hiswifeandthe
coupleschildrenslylyexplainingthatshecouldnotclearlyseebecauseofanallegedeyedefect.[30]
Althoughabaptismalcertificateisindeednotaconclusiveproofoffiliation,itisoneoftheothermeansallowed
undertheRulesofCourtandspeciallawstoshowpedigree,asthisCourtruledinMendozavs.CourtofAppeals:[31]
What both the trial court and the respondent court did not take into account is that an illegitimate child is
allowedtoestablishhisclaimedfiliationbyanyothermeansallowedbytheRulesofCourtandspeciallaws,
accordingtotheCivilCode,orbyevidenceofproofinhisfavorthatthedefendantisherfather,accordingto
theFamilyCode.Suchevidencemayconsistofhisbaptismalcertificate,ajudicialadmission,afamilyBible
inwhichhisnamehasbeenentered,commonreputationrespectinghispedigree,admissionbysilence,the
testimonyofwitnesses,andotherkindsofproofadmissibleunderRule130oftheRulesofCourt.[Justice
AliciaSempioDiy,HandbookontheFamilyCodeofthePhil.1988ed.,p.246]
Concededly,becauseGerardowasnotshowntobeamemberoftheTrinidadfamilybyeitherconsanguinityor
affinity,[32]hertestimonydoesnotconstitutefamilyreputationregardingpedigree.Hence,itcannot,byitself,beusedto
establishpetitionerslegitimacy.
Bethatasitmay,thetotalityofpetitionerspositiveevidenceclearlypreponderatesoverprivaterespondentsself
serving negations.In sum, private respondents thesis is that Inocentes died unwed and without issue in March 1941.
Private respondents witness, Pedro Briones, testified that Inocentes died in 1940 and was buried in the estate of the
Trinidads,becausenobodywaswillingtocarrythecoffintothecemeteryinKalibo,whichwasthenoccupiedbythe

Japanese forces.His testimony, however, is far from credible because he stayed with the Trinidads for only three
months,andhisanswersondirectexaminationwerenoncommittalandevasive:[33]
Q:Atthetimeofhisdeath,canyoutelltheCourtifthisInocentesTrinidadwasmarriedornot?
A:Notmarried.
Q:In1940atthetimeofdeathofInocentesTrinidad,wherewereyouresiding?
A:Iwasstayingwiththem.
Q:Whenyousaidthem,towhomareyoureferringto[sic]?
A:MyauntNanayTaya,Anastacia.
xxxxxxxxx
Q:Will you please tell the Court for how long did you stay with your aunt Anastacia Trinidad and his children
before1940?
A:Foronlythreemonths.
Q:Now, you said at the time of his death, Inocentes Trinidad was single.Do you know if he had cohabited with
anybodybeforehisdeath?
A:[T]hatIdonotknow.
Q:YouknowapersonbythenameofFelicidadMolato?
A:No,sir.
Q:Can you recall if during the lifetime of Inocentes Trinidad if you have known of anybody with whom he has
livedashusbandandwife?
A:IcouldnotrecallbecauseIwastheninManilaworking.
Q:After the war, do you remember having gone back to the house of your aunt Anastacia at Tigayon, Kalibo,
Aklan?
A:Yes,sir,
Q:Howoftendidyougotothehouseofyouraunt?
A:EverySunday.
xxxxxxxxx
Q:YouknowtheplaintiffArturioTrinidad?
A:Idonotknowhim.
Q:After the death of Inocentes Trinidad, do you know if there was anybody who has stayed with the defendants
whoclaimedtobeasonofInocentesTrinidad?
A:Idonotknowaboutthat.
BeatrizSayon,theotherwitnessofprivaterespondent,testifiedthat,whentheJapaneseoccupiedKaliboin1941,
her father brought Inocentes from Manila to Tigayon because he was sick.Inocentes stayed with their grandmother,
Eugenia Roco Trinidad, and died single and without issue in March 1941, one and a half months after his return to
Tigayon.SheknewFelicidadMolato,whowasalsoaresidentofTigayon,butdeniedthatFelicidadwasevermarriedto
Inocentes.[34]
TakingjudicialnoticethatWorldWarIIdidnotstartuntilDecember7,1941withthebombingofPearlHarborin
Hawaii, the trial court was not convinced that Inocentes died in March 1941.[35]TheJapanese forces occupied Manila
onlyonJanuary2,1942[36]thus,itstandstoreasonthatAklanwasnotoccupieduntilthen.Itwasonlythenthatlocal
residents were unwilling to bury their dead in the cemetery in Kalibo, because of the Japanese soldiers who were
roamingaroundthearea.[37]
Furthermore, petitioner consistently used Inocentes surname (Trinidad) without objection from private
respondentsapresumptiveproofofhisstatusasInocenteslegitimatechild.[38]
Preponderantevidencemeansthat,asawhole,theevidenceadducedbyonesideoutweighsthatoftheadverse
party.[39]Comparedtothedetailed(evenifawkwardlywritten)rulingofthetrialcourt,RespondentCourtsholdingthat
petitionerfailedtoprovehislegitimatefiliationtoInocentesisunconvincing.Indeterminingwherethepreponderance

ofevidencelies,atrialcourtmayconsiderallthefactsandcircumstancesofthecase,includingthewitnessesmannerof
testifying,theirintelligence,theirmeansandopportunityofknowingthefactstowhichtheyaretestifying,thenatureof
the facts, the probability or improbability of their testimony, their interest or want thereof, and their personal
credibility.[40]Applyingthisrule,thetrialcourtsignificantlyandconvincinglyheldthattheweightofevidencewasin
petitionersfavor.Itdeclared:
xxx [O]ne thing sure is the fact that plaintiff had lived with defendants enjoying the status of being their
nephew xxx before plaintiff [had] gotten married and had a family of his own where later on he started
demandingforthepartitionoftheshareofhisfather,Inocentes.Thefactthatplaintiffhadsolivedwiththe
defendantsxxxisshownbytheallegedfamilypictures,ExhibitsA&B.Thesefamilypicturesweretakenat
atimewhenplaintiffhadnotbroachedtheideaofgettinghisfathersshare.xxxxHisdemandforthepartition
oftheshareofhisfatherprovokedtheireofthedefendants,thus,theydisownedhimastheirnephew.xxxx
Inthiscase,theplaintiffenjoyedthecontinuouspossessionofastatusofthechildoftheallegedfatherby
thedirectactsofthedefendantsthemselves,whichstatuswasonlybrokenwhenplaintiffdemandedforthe
partitionxxxashewasalreadyhavingafamilyofhisown.xxxx.
However, the disowning by the defendant [private respondent herein], Lourdes Trinidad, of the plaintiff
[petitionerherein]beinghernephewisoffsetbythepreponderanceofevidence,amongthemthetestimony
ofwitness,JovitaGerardo,whoisthebarriocaptain.Thiswitnesswasalready77yearsoldatthetimeshe
testified.Saidwitnesshadnoreasontofavortheplaintiff.ShehadbeenaPTAofficerandthecourtsizedher
up as a civic minded person.She has nothing to gain in this case as compared to the witness for the
defendants who are either cousin or nephew of Lourdes Trinidad who stands to gain in the case for
defendant,LourdesTrinidad,beingalready75yearsold,hasnohusbandnorchildren.[41]
Doctrinally,acollateralattackonfiliationisnotpermitted.[42]Ratherthanrelyonthisaxiom,petitionerchoseto
presentevidenceofhisfiliationandofhisparentsmarriage.Hence,thereisnomoreneedtoruleontheapplicationof
thisdoctrinetopetitionerscause.
ThirdIssue:NoAcquisitivePrescription
RespondentCourtruledthat,becauseacquisitiveprescriptionsetsinwhenoneoftheinterestedpartiesopenlyand
adversely occupies the property without recognizing the coownership, and because private respondents had been in
possession in the concept of owners of the parcels of land in issue since Patricio died in 1940, they acquired
ownershipoftheseparcels.
TheCourtdisagrees.Privaterespondentshavenotacquiredownershipofthepropertyinquestionbyacquisitive
prescription.In a coownership, the act of one benefits all the other coowners, unless the former repudiates the co
ownership.[43]Thus,noprescriptionrunsinfavorofacoownerorcoheiragainsthisorhercoownersorcoheirs,so
longasheorsheexpresslyorimpliedlyrecognizesthecoownership.
In this particular case, it is undisputed that, prior to the action for partition, petitioner, in the concept of a co
owner, was receiving from private respondents his share of the produce of the land in dispute.Until such time,
recognition of the coownership by private respondents was beyond question.There is no evidence, either, of their
repudiation,ifany,ofthecoownershipofpetitionersfatherInocentesovertheland.Further,thetitlesofthesepiecesof
landwerestillintheirfathersname.Althoughprivaterespondentshadpossessedtheseparcelsopenlysince1940and
had not shared with petitioner the produce of the land during the pendency of this case, still, they manifested no
repudiationofthecoownership.InMariateguivs.CourtofAppeals,theCourtheld:[44]
xxxCorollarily,prescriptiondoesnotrunagainprivaterespondentswithrespecttothefilingoftheaction
forpartitionsolongastheheirsforwhosebenefitprescriptionisinvoked,havenotexpresslyorimpliedly
repudiated the coownership.In the other words, prescription of an action for partition does not lie except
whenthecoownershipisproperlyrepudiatedbythecoowner(DelBancovs.IntermediateAppellateCourt,
156SCRA55[1987]citingJardinvs.Hollasco,117SCRA532[1982]).
Otherwisestated,acoownercannotacquirebyprescriptiontheshareoftheothercoownersabsentaclear
repudiationofcoownershipdulycommunicatedtotheothercoowners(Marianovs.DeVega,148SCRA
342 [1987]).Furthermore, an action to demand partition is imprescriptible and cannot be barred by laches
(DelBancovs.IAC,156SCRA55(1987).Ontheotherhand,anactionforpartitionmaybeseentobeat

onceanactionfordeclarationofcoownershipandforsegregationandconveyanceofadeterminateportion
ofthepropertyinvolved(Roquevs.IAC,165SCRA118[1988]).
Consideringtheforegoing,RespondentCourtcommittedreversibleerrorinholdingthatpetitionersclaimoverthe
landindisputewastimebarred.
WHEREFORE,thepetitionisGRANTEDandtheassailedDecisionandResolutionareREVERSEDandSET
ASIDE.ThetrialcourtsdecisiondatedJuly4,1989isREINSTATED.Nocosts.
SOORDERED.
TOMASA VDA. DE JACOB, as Special Administratrix of the Intestate Estate of Deceased Alfredo E.
Jacob,petitioner,vs.COURTOFAPPEALS,PEDROPILAPIL,THEREGISTEROFDEEDSforthe
ProvinceofCamarinesSur,andJUANF.TRIVINOaspublisherofBalalong,respondents.
DECISION
PANGANIBAN,J.:
Thecontentsofadocumentmaybeprovenbycompetentevidenceotherthanthedocumentitself,providedthat
theofferorestablishesitsdueexecutionanditssubsequentlossordestruction.Accordingly,thefactofmarriagemaybe
shownbyextrinsicevidenceotherthanthemarriagecontract.
TheCase

Before us is a Petition for Review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, assailing the Decision of the Court of
Appeals[1](CA) dated January 15, 1998, and its Resolution dated August 24, 1998, denying petitioners Motion for
Reconsideration.
ThedispositivepartoftheCADecisionreads:
WHEREFORE,findingnoreversibleerrorinthedecisionappealedfromitbeingmoreconsistentwiththefactsandthe
applicablelaw,thechallengedDecisiondated05April1994oftheRTC,Br.30,Tigaon,CamarinesSurisAFFIRMED
intoto.[2]
ThedecretalportionofthetrialcourtDecision[3]isasfollows:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, decision is hereby rendered in favor of [herein Respondent] Pedro Pilapil, and
against[hereinPetitioner]TomasaGuisonasfollows:
a)Declaring Exh. B, the so called reconstructed marriage contract excluded under the best evidence rule,
andthereforedeclaringsaidExh.Bspuriousandnonexistent.
b)DeclaringExh.3OrderdatedJuly18,1961,andthesignatureoftheissuingJudgeJOSEL.MOYA(Exh.
34)tobegenuine.
c)Permanentlysettingasideandliftingtheprovisionalwritofinjunctionearlierissuedand
d)TopayattorneysfeesofP50,000.
Andcostsagainst[hereinpetitioner.]
TheFacts

TheCourtofAppealsnarratesthefactsthus:
Plaintiffappellant [petitioner herein] claimed to be the surviving spouse of deceased Dr. Alfredo E. Jacob and was
appointedSpecialAdministratixforthevariousestatesofthedeceasedbyvirtueofareconstructedMarriageContract
betweenherselfandthedeceased.
Defendantappellee on the other hand, claimed to be the legallyadopted son of Alfredo.In support of his claim, he
presentedanOrderdated18July1961issuedbythenPresidingJudgeJoseL.Moya,CFI,CamarinesSur,grantingthe
petitionforadoptionfiledbydeceasedAlfredoinfavorofPedroPilapil.
DuringtheproceedingforthesettlementoftheestateofthedeceasedAlfredoinCaseNo.T46(entitledTomasavda.
deJacobv.JoseCentenera,etal)hereindefendantappelleePedrosoughttointervenethereinclaiminghisshareofthe
deceasedsestateasAlfredosadoptedsonandashissolesurvivingheir.Pedroquestionedthevalidityofthemarriage
betweenappellantTomasaandhisadoptivefatherAlfredo.
AppellantTomasaopposedtheMotionforInterventionandfiledacomplaintforinjunctionwithdamages(CivilCase
No.T83)questioningappelleesclaimasthelegalheirofAlfredo.

Thefollowingissueswereraisedinthecourtaquo:
a)WhetherthemarriagebetweentheplaintiffappellantanddeceasedAlfredoJacobwasvalid
b)WhetherthedefendantappelleeisthelegallyadoptedsonofdeceasedJacob.
Onthefirstissue,appellantclaimsthatthemarriagebetweenherandAlfredowassolemnizedbyoneMsgr.Florencio
C. Yllana, CBCP, Intramuros, Manila sometime in 1975.She could not however present the original copy of the
Marriage Contract stating that the original document was lost when Msgr. Yllana allegedly gave it to Mr. Jose
Centenera for registration.In lieu of the original, Tomasa presented as secondary evidence areconstructedMarriage
Contractissuedin1978.
During the trial, the court a quo observed the following irregularities in the execution of the reconstructed Marriage
Contract,towit:
1.No copy of the Marriage Contract was sent to the local civil registrar by the solemnizing officer thus
givingtheimplicationthattherewasnocopyofthemarriagecontractsentto,norarecordexistingin
thecivilregistryofManila
2.InsigningtheMarriageContract,thelateAlfredoJacobmerelyplacedhisthumbmarkonsaidcontract
purportedly on 16 September 1975 (date of the marriage).However, on a Sworn Affidavit executed
betweenappellantTomasaandAlfredoadaybeforetheallegeddateofmarriageoron15September
1975attestingthatbothofthemlivedtogetherashusbandandwifeforfive(5)years,Alfredo[af]fixed
his customary signature.Thus the trial court concluded that the thumbmark was logically not
genuine.Inotherwords,notofAlfredoJacobs
3.Contrary to appellants claim, in his Affidavit stating the circumstances of the loss of the Marriage
Contract, the affiant Msgr. Yllana never mentioned that he allegedly gave the copies of the Marriage
ContracttoMr.JoseCenteneraforregistration.Andasadmittedbyappellantatthetrial,JoseCentenera
(who allegedly acted as padrino) was not present at the date of the marriage since he was then in
Australia.Infact,onthefaceofthereconstructedMarriageContract,itwasoneBenjaminMolinawho
signed on top of the typewritten name of Jose Centenera.This belies the claim that Msgr. Yllana
allegedlygavethecopiesoftheMarriageContracttoMr.JoseCentenera
4.Appellantadmittedthattherewasnorecordofthepurportedmarriageenteredinthebookofrecordsin
SanAgustinChurchwherethemarriagewasallegedlysolemnized.
Anentthesecondissue,appelleepresentedtheOrderdated18July1961inSpecialProceedingsNo.192issuedbythen
PresidingJudgeMoyagrantingthepetitionforadoptionfiledbydeceasedAlfredowhichdeclaredthereinPedroPilapil
asthelegallyadoptedsonofAlfredo.
AppellantTomasahoweverquestionedtheauthenticityofthesignatureofJudgeMoya.
InanefforttodisprovethegenuinenessandauthenticityofJudgeMoyassignatureintheOrdergrantingthepetitionfor
adoption,thedepositionofJudgeMoyawastakenathisresidenceon01October1990.
Inhisdeposition,JudgeMoyaattestedthathecouldnolongerrememberthefactsinjudicialproceedingstakenabout
twentynine(29)yearsagowhenhewasthenpresidingjudgesincehewasalready79yearsoldandwassufferingfrom
glaucoma.
The trial court then consulted two (2) handwriting experts to test the authenticity and genuineness of Judge Moyas
signature.
A handwriting examination was conducted by Binevenido C. Albacea, NBI Document Examiner.Examiner Albacea
usedthirteen(13)specimensignaturesofJudgeMoyaandcompareditwiththequestionedsignature.Hepointedout
irregularities and significant fundamental differences in handwriting characteristics/habits existing between the
questionedandthestandardsignatureandconcludedthatthequestionedandthestandardsignaturesJOSEL.MOYA
wereNOTwrittenbyoneandthesameperson.
Ontheotherhand,toprovethegenuinenessofJudgeMoyassignature,appelleepresentedthecomparativefindingsof
thehandwritingexaminationmadebyaformerNBIChiefDocumentExaminerAtty.DesiderioA.Paguiwhoexamined
thirtytwo (32) specimen signatures of Judge Moya inclusive of the thirteen (13) signatures examined by Examiner
Albacea.Inhisreport,Atty.Paguinotedtheexistenceofsignificantsimilaritiesofunconscioushabitualpatternwithin
allowablevariationofwritingcharacteristicsbetweenthestandardandthequestionedsignaturesandconcludedthatthe

signature of Judge Moya appearing in the Order dated 18 July 1961 granting the petition for adoption was indeed
genuine.
Confrontedwithtwo(2)conflictingreports,thetrialcourtsustainedthefindingsofAtty.Paguideclaringthesignature
ofJudgeMoyainthechallengedOrderasgenuineandauthentic.
Basedontheevidencepresented,thetrialcourtruledfordefendantappelleesustaininghisclaimasthelegallyadopted
child and sole heir of deceased Alfredo and declaring the reconstructed Marriage Contract as spurious and non
existent.[4](citationsomitted,emphasisintheoriginal)
RulingoftheCourtofAppeals

InaffirmingtheDecisionofthetrialcourt,theCourtofAppealsruledinthiswise:
DealingwiththeissueofvalidityofthereconstructedMarriageContract,Article6,par.1oftheFamilyCodeprovides
that the declaration of the contracting parties that they take each other as husband and wife shall be set forth in an
instrumentsignedbythepartiesaswellasbytheirwitnessesandthepersonsolemnizingthemarriage.Accordingly,the
primaryevidenceofamarriagemustbeanauthenticcopyofthemarriagecontract.
Andiftheauthenticcopycouldnotbeproduced,Section3inrelationtoSection5,Rule130oftheRevisedRulesof
Courtprovides:
Sec.3.Originaldocumentmustbeproducedexceptions.Whenthesubjectofinquiryisthecontentsofadocument,
noevidenceshallbeadmissibleotherthantheoriginaldocumentitself,exceptinthefollowingcases:
(a)When the original has been lost or destroyed, or cannot be produced in court without bad faith on the part of the
offeror
xxxxxxxxx
Sec.5.Whentheoriginaldocumentisunavailable.Whentheoriginaldocumenthasbeenlostordestroyed,orcannot
beproducedincourt,theofferor,uponproofofitsexecutionorexistenceandthecauseofitsunavailabilitywithoutbad
faithonhispart,mayproveitscontentsbyacopy.Orbyarecitalofitscontentsinsomeauthenticdocument,orbythe
testimonyofwitnessesintheorderstated.
AsrequiredbytheRules,beforethetermsofatransactioninrealitymaybeestablishedbysecondaryevidence,itis
necessary that the due execution of the document and subsequent loss of the original instrument evidencing the
transaction be proved.For it is the due execution of the document and subsequent loss that would constitute the
foundationfortheintroductionofsecondaryevidencetoprovethecontentsofsuchdocument.
Inthecaseatbench,proofofdueexecutionbesidesthelossofthethree(3)copiesofthemarriagecontracthasnotbeen
shownfortheintroductionofsecondaryevidenceofthecontentsofthereconstructedcontract.Also,appellantfailedto
sufficientlyestablishthecircumstancesofthelossoftheoriginaldocument.
With regard to the trial courts finding that the signature of then Judge Moya in the questioned Order granting the
petitionforadoptioninfavorofPedroPilapilwasgenuine,sufficeittostatethat,intheabsenceofclearandconvincing
proof to the contrary, the presumption applies that Judge Moya in issuing the order acted in the performance of his
regularduties.
Furthermore, since the signature appearing in the challenged Order was subjected to a rigid examination of two (2)
handwriting experts, this negates the possibility of forgery of Judge Moyas signature.The value of the opinion of a
handwriting expert depends not upon his mere statement of whether a writing is genuine or false, but upon the
assistancehemayaffordinpointingoutdistinguishingmarks,characteristics,anddiscrepanciesinandbetweengenuine
and false specimens of writing of which would ordinarily escape notice or dete[c]tion from an unpracticed
observer.And in the final analysis, the assessment of the credibility of such expert witnesses rests largely in the
discretionofthetrialcourt,andthetestofqualificationisnecessarilyarelativeone,dependinguponthesubjectunder
investigationandthefitnessoftheparticularwitness.Exceptinextraordinarycases,anappellatecourtwillnotreverse
onaccountofamistakeofjudgmentonthepartofthetrialcourtindeterminingqualificationsofthiscase.
Jurisprudenceissettledthatthetrialcourtsfindingsoffactwhenablysupportedbysubstantialevidenceonrecordare
accordedwithgreatweightandrespectbytheCourt.Thus,uponreview,Wefindthatnomaterialfactswereoverlooked
orignoredbythecourtbelowwhichifconsideredmightvarytheoutcomeofthiscasenorthereexistcogentreasons
that would warrant reversal of the findings below.Factual findings of the trial court are entitled to great weight and

respectonappealespeciallywhenestablishedbyunrebuttedtestimonyanddocumentaryevidence.[5](citationsomitted,
emphasisintheoriginal)
Disagreeingwiththeabove,petitionerlodgedherPetitionforReviewbeforethisCourt.[6]
TheIssues

InherMemorandum,petitionerpresentsthefollowingissuesfortheresolutionofthisCourt:
a)WhetherornotthemarriagebetweentheplaintiffTomasaVda.DeJacobanddeceasedAlfredoE.Jacobwasvalid
and
b)WhetherdefendantPedroPilapilisthelegallyadoptedsonofAlfredoE.Jacob.[7]
TheCourtsRuling

The Petition is meritorious.Petitioners marriage is valid, but respondents adoption has not been sufficiently
established.
FirstIssue:
ValidityofMarriage

Doctrinally,avoidmarriagemaybesubjectedtocollateralattack,whileavoidableonemaybeassailedonlyina
directproceeding.[8]Awareofthisfundamentaldistinction,RespondentPilapilcontendsthatthemarriagebetweenDr.
Alfredo Jacob and petitioner was voidab initio, because there was neither a marriage license nor a marriage
ceremony.[9]Wecannotsustainthiscontention.
To start with, Respondent Pedro Pilapil argues that the marriage was void because the parties had no marriage
license.This argument is misplaced, because it has been established that Dr. Jacob and petitioner lived together as
husbandandwifeforatleastfiveyears.[10]AnaffidavittothiseffectwasexecutedbyDr.Jacobandpetitioner.[11]Clearly
then, the marriage was exceptional in character and did not require a marriage license under Article 76 of the Civil
Code.[12]TheCivilCodegovernsthiscase,becausethequestionedmarriageandtheassailedadoptiontookplaceprior
theeffectivityoftheFamilyCode.
WhenIsSecondaryEvidenceAllowed?

Itissettledthatiftheoriginalwritinghasbeenlostordestroyedorcannotbeproducedincourt,uponproofofits
executionandlossordestruction,orunavailability,itscontentsmaybeprovedbyacopyorarecitalofitscontentsin
someauthenticdocument,orbyrecollectionofwitnesses.[13]Uponashowingthatthedocumentwasdulyexecutedand
subsequently lost, without any bad faith on the part of the offeror, secondary evidence may be adduced to prove its
contents.[14]
The trial court and the Court of Appeals committed reversible error when they (1) excluded the testimonies of
petitioner,AdelaPilapilandMsgr.FlorencioYllanaand(2)disregardedthefollowing:(a)photographsofthewedding
ceremony (b) documentary evidence, such as the letter of Monsignor Yllana stating that he had solemnized the
marriagebetweenDr.Jacobandpetitioner,informedtheArchbishopofManilathattheweddinghadnotbeenrecorded
in the Book of Marriages, and at the same time requested the list of parties to the marriage (c) the subsequent
authorization issued by the Archbishop through his vicar general and chancellor, Msgr. Benjamin L. Marino
ordaining that the union between Dr. Jacob and petitioner be reflected through a corresponding entry in the Book of
Marriagesand(d)theAffidavitofMonsignorYllanastatingthecircumstancesofthelossofthemarriagecertificate.
Itshouldbestressedthatthedueexecutionandthelossofthemarriagecontract,bothconstitutingtheconditio
sine qua nonfor the introduction of secondary evidence of its contents, were shown by the very evidence they have
disregarded.They have thus confused the evidence to show due execution and loss as "secondary" evidence of the
marriage.InHernaezv.Mcgrath,[15]theCourtclarifiedthismisconceptionthus:
x x x [T]he court below was entirely mistaken in holding that parol evidence of the execution of the instrument was
barred.Thecourtconfoundedtheexecutionandthecontentsofthedocument.Itisthecontents,xxxwhichmaynotbe
prove[n]bysecondaryevidencewhentheinstrumentitselfisaccessible.Proofsoftheexecutionarenotdependenton
theexistenceornonexistenceofthedocument,and,asamatteroffact,suchproofsprecedeproofsofthecontents:due
execution,besidestheloss,hastobeshownasfoundationfortheintroductionofsecondaryevidenceofthecontents.
xxxxxxxxx

Evidenceoftheexecutionofadocumentis,inthelastanalysis,necessarilycollateralorprimary.Itgenerallyconsistsof
paroltestimonyorextrinsicpapers.Evenwhenthedocumentisactuallyproduced,itsauthenticityisnotnecessarily,if
at all, determined from its face or recital of its contents but by parol evidence.At the most, failure to produce the
document, when available, to establish its execution may affect the weight of the evidence presented but not the
admissibilityofsuchevidence.(emphasisours)
TheCourtofAppeals,aswellasthetrialcourt,triedtojustifyitsstandonthisissuebyrelyingonLimTanhuv.
Ramolete.[16]Buteventhere,wesaidthatmarriagemaybeprove[n]byothercompetentevidence.[17]
Truly, the execution of a document may be proven by the parties themselves, by the swearing officer, by
witnesseswhosawandrecognizedthesignaturesofthepartiesorevenbythosetowhomthepartieshavepreviously
narratedtheexecutionthereof.[18]TheCourthasalsoheldthat[t]helossmaybeshownbyanypersonwho[knows]the
fact of its loss, or by any one who ha[s] made, in the judgment of the court, a sufficient examination in the place or
placeswherethedocumentorpapersofsimilarcharacterareusuallykeptbythepersoninwhosecustodythedocument
lostwas,andhasbeenunabletofinditorwhohasmadeanyotherinvestigationwhichissufficienttosatisfythecourt
thattheinstrument[has]indeed[been]lost.[19]
Inthepresentcase,dueexecutionwasestablishedbythetestimoniesofAdelaPilapil,whowaspresentduringthe
marriageceremony,andofpetitionerherselfasapartytotheevent.Thesubsequentlosswasshownbythetestimony
andtheaffidavitoftheofficiatingpriest,MonsignorYllana,aswellasbypetitionersowndeclarationincourt.Theseare
relevant,competentandadmissibleevidence.Sincethedueexecutionandthelossofthemarriagecontractwereclearly
shownbytheevidencepresented,secondaryevidencetestimonialanddocumentarymaybeadmittedtoprovethe
factofmarriage.
The trial court pointed out that on the face of the reconstructed marriage contract were certain irregularities
suggestingthatithadfraudulentlybeenobtained.[20]Evenifweweretoagreewiththetrialcourtandtodisregardthe
reconstructedmarriagecontract,wemustemphasizethatthiscertificateisnottheonlyproofoftheunionbetweenDr.
Jacobandpetitioner.
ProofofMarriage

As early asPugeda v. Trias[21], we have held that marriage may be proven by any competent and relevant
evidence.Inthatcase,wesaid:
"Testimony byone of the parties to the marriage, or byone of the witnessesto the marriage, has been held to be
admissibletoprovethefactofmarriage.Thepersonwhoofficiatedatthesolemnizationisalsocompetenttotestifyas
aneyewitnesstothefactofmarriage."[22](emphasissupplied)
InBalogbogv.CA,[23]wesimilarlyheld:
[A]lthoughamarriagecontractisconsideredprimaryevidenceofmarriage,thefailuretopresentitisnotproofthatno
marriagetookplace.Otherevidencemaybepresentedtoprovemarriage.(emphasissupplied,footnoteomitted)
In both cases, we allowed testimonial evidence to prove the fact of marriage.We reiterated this principle
inTrinidadv.CA,[24]inwhich,becauseofthedestructionofthemarriagecontract,weacceptedtestimonialevidencein
itsplace.[25]
Respondent Pedro Pilapil misplaces emphasis on the absence of an entry pertaining to 1975 in the Books of
MarriageoftheLocalCivilRegistrarofManilaandintheNationalCensusandStatisticsOffice(NCSO).[26]Hefindsit
quitebizarreforpetitionertohavewaitedthreeyearsbeforeregisteringtheirmarriage.[27]Onbothcounts,heproceeds
fromthewrongpremise.Inthefirstplace,failuretosendacopyofamarriagecertificateforrecordpurposesdoesnot
invalidatethemarriage.[28]Inthesecondplace,itwasnotthepetitionersdutytosendacopyofthemarriagecertificateto
thecivilregistrar.Instead,thischargefelluponthesolemnizingofficer.[29]
PresumptioninFavorofMarriage

Likewise,wehaveheld:
Thebasisofhumansocietythroughoutthecivilizedworldisxxxofmarriage.Marriageinthisjurisdictionisnotonlya
civil contract, but it is a new relation, an institution in the maintenance of which the public is deeply
interested.Consequently,everyintendmentofthelawleanstowardlegalizingmatrimony.Personsdwellingtogetherin
apparentmatrimonyarepresumed,intheabsenceofanycounterpresumptionorevidencespecialtothecase,tobein
factmarried.Thereasonisthatsuchisthecommonorderofsociety,andifthepartieswerenotwhattheythushold

themselves out as being, they would be living in the constant violation of decency and of law.A presumption
establishedbyourCodeofCivilProcedureisthatamanandwomandeportingthemselvesashusbandandwifehave
entered into a lawful contract of marriage.Semper praesumitur pro matrimonio Always presume
marriage.[30](emphasissupplied)
Thisjurisprudentialattitude[31],1984Peridov.Perido,63SCRA97,March12,1975.31towardsmarriageisbased
ontheprimafaciepresumptionthatamanandawomandeportingthemselvesashusbandandwifehaveenteredintoa
lawfulcontractofmarriage.[32]Giventheundisputed,evenaccepted,[33]factthatDr.Jacobandpetitionerlivedtogetheras
husbandandwife,[34]wefindthatthepresumptionofmarriagewasnotrebuttedinthiscase.
SecondIssue:
ValidityofAdoptionOrder

InrulingthatRespondentPedroPilapilwasadoptedbyDr.JacobandthatthesignatureofJudgeMoyaappearing
ontheAdoptionOrderwasvalid,theCourtofAppealsreliedonthepresumptionthatthejudgehadactedintheregular
performanceofhisduties.Theappellatecourtalsogavecredencetothetestimonyofrespondentshandwritingexpert,
fortheassessmentofthecredibilityofsuchexpertwitnessrestslargelyonthediscretionofthetrialcourtxxx.[35]
Wedisagree.Asarule,thefactualfindingsofthetrialcourtareaccordedgreatweightandrespectbyappellate
courts,becauseithadtheopportunitytoobservethedemeanorofwitnessesandtonotetelltalesignsindicatingthetruth
orthefalsityofatestimony.Therule,however,isnotapplicabletothepresentcase,becauseitwasJudgeAugustoO.
Cledera,nottheponente,whoheardthetestimoniesofthetwoexpertwitnesses.Thus,theCourtexaminedtherecords
and found that the Court of Appeals and the trial court failed to notice certain relevant facts which, if properly
considered, will justify a different conclusion.[36]Hence, the present case is an exception to the general rule that only
questionsoflawmaybereviewedinpetitionsunderRule45.[37]
Central to the present question is the authenticity of Judge Moyas signature on the questioned Order of
Adoption.Toenlightenthetrialcourtonthismatter,twoexpertwitnesseswerepresented,oneforpetitionerandonefor
RespondentPilapil.ThetrialcourtreliedmainlyonrespondentsexpertandbrushedasidetheDepositionofJudgeMoya
himself.[38]Respondent Pilapil justifies the trial judges action by arguing that the Deposition was ambiguous.He
contends that Judge Moya could not remember whether the signature on the Order was his and cites the following
portionasproof:[39]
"Q.Whatwasyou[r]response,sir?
A.IsaidIdonotremember.
RespondentPilapil'sargumentismisleading,becauseittookthejudgestestimonyoutofitscontext.Considered
withtherestoftheDeposition,JudgeMoyasstatementscontainednoambiguity.Hewasclearwhenheansweredthe
queriesinthefollowingmanner:
Atty.BenitoP.Fabie
Q.Whatelsedidshetellyou[?]
A.Andsheask[ed]meifIrememberedhavingissuedtheorder.
Q.Whatwasyourresponsesir[?]
A.IsaidIdonotremember.[40]
TheanswerIdonotrememberdidnotsuggestthatJudgeMoyawasunsureofwhathewasdeclaring.Infact,he
wasemphaticandcategoricalinthesubsequentexchangesduringtheDeposition:
Atty.BenitoP.Fabie
Q.I am showing to you this Order, Exh. A deposition[] will you please recall whether you issued this Order
andwhetherthefacsimileofthesignatureappearingthereonisyoursignature.
A.As I said, I do not remember having issued such an order andthe signature reading Jose[] I cant make out
clearlywhatcomesafterthename[]JoseMoyaisnotmysignature.[41]
Clearly,JudgeMoyacouldnotrecallhavingeverissuedtheOrderofAdoption.Moreimportantly,whenshown
thesignatureoverhisname,hepositivelydeclaredthatitwasnothis.
ThefactthathehadglaucomawhenhisDepositionwastakendoesnotdiscredithisstatements.Atthetime,he
could with medication still read the newspapers upon the request of the defense counsel, he even read a document

shown to him.[42]Indeed, we find no reason and the respondent has not presented any to disregard the Deposition of
JudgeMoya.
Judge Moyas declaration was supported by the expert testimony of NBI Document Examiner Bienvenido
Albacea,whodeclared:
Atty.Paraiso
QAndwereyouabletodetermine[w]hatpurposeyouhadinyourexaminationofthisdocument?
AYessir,[basedon]myconclusion,[I]statedthatthequestionedandthestandardsignatureJoseL.Moyawerenot
writtenbyoneandthesameperson.OnthebasisofmyfindingsthatIwouldpointoutindetail,thedifference
inthewritingcharacteristics[was]inthestructuralpatternofletterswhichisveryapparentasshowninthe
photographasthecapitalletterJ.[43]
It is noteworthy that Mr. Albacea is a disinterested party, his services having been sought without any
compensation.Moreover,hiscompetencewasrecognizedevenbyRespondentPilapilsexpertwitness,Atty.Desiderio
Pagui.[44]
Otherconsiderationsalsocastdoubtontheclaimofrespondent.TheallegedOrderwaspurportedlymadeinopen
court.In his Deposition, however, Judge Moya declared that he did not dictate decisions in adoption cases.The only
decisions he made in open court were criminal cases, in which the accused pleaded guilty.[45]Moreover, Judge Moya
insisted that the branch where he was assigned was always indicated in his decisions and orders yet the questioned
Order did not contain this information.Furthermore, Pilapils conduct gave no indication that he recognized his own
allegedadoption,asshownbythedocumentsthathesignedandotheractsthatheperformedthereafter.[46]Inthesame
vein,noproofwaspresentedthatDr.Jacobhadtreatedhimasanadoptedchild.Likewise,boththeBureauofRecords
Management[47]inManilaandtheOfficeoftheLocalCivilRegistrarofTigaon,CamarinesSur,[48]issuedCertifications
that there was no record that Pedro Pilapil had been adopted by Dr. Jacob.Taken together, these circumstances
inexorablynegatetheallegedadoptionofrespondent.[49]
The burden of proof in establishing adoption is upon the person claiming such relationship.[50]This Respondent
Pilapilfailedtodo.Moreover,theevidencepresentedbypetitionershowsthattheallegedadoptionisasham.
WHEREFORE, the Petition isGRANTEDand the assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals
isREVERSEDandSET ASIDE.The marriage between Petitioner Tomasa Vda. de Jacob and the deceased Alfredo E.
JacobisherebyrecognizedanddeclaredVALIDandtheclaimedadoptionofRespondentPedroPilapilisDECLARED
NONEXISTENT.Nopronouncementastocosts.
SOORDERED.
LEOUELSANTOS,petitioner,
vs.
THEHONORABLECOURTOFAPPEALSANDJULIAROSARIOBEDIASANTOS,respondents.

VITUG,J.:
Concededlyahighly,ifnotindeedthemostlikely,controversialprovisionintroducedbytheFamilyCodeisArticle36
(asamendedbyE.O.No.227dated17July1987),whichdeclares:
Art.36.Amarriagecontractedbyanypartywho,atthetimeofthecelebration,waspsychologically
incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations of marriage, shall likewise be void
evenifsuchincapacitybecomesmanifestonlyafteritssolemnization.
Thepresentpetitionforreviewoncertiorari,attheinstanceofLeouelSantos("Leouel"),bringsintoforethe
aboveprovisionwhichisnowinvokedbyhim.Undauntedbythedecisionsofthecourtaquo1andtheCourt
of Appeal,2Leouel persists in beseeching its application in his attempt to have his marriage with herein
privaterespondent,JuliaRosarioBediaSantos("Julia"),declaredanullity.
ItwasinIloiloCitywhereLeouel,whothenheldtherankofFirstLieutenantinthePhilippineArmy,firstmetJulia.
ThemeetinglaterprovedtobeaneventfuldayforLeouelandJulia.On20September1986,thetwoexchangedvows
beforeMunicipalTrialCourtJudgeCornelioG.LazaroofIloiloCity,followed,shortlythereafter,byachurchwedding.
LeouelandJulialivedwiththelatter'sparentsattheJ.BediaCompound,LaPaz,IloiloCity.On18July1987,Julia
gavebirthtoababyboy,andhewaschristenedLeouelSantos,Jr.Theecstasy,however,didnotlastlong.Itwasbound

tohappen,Leouelaverred,becauseofthefrequentinterferencebyJulia'sparentsintotheyoungspousesfamilyaffairs.
Occasionally, the couple would also start a "quarrel" over a number of other things, like when and where the couple
shouldstartlivingindependentlyfromJulia'sparentsorwheneverJuliawouldexpressresentmentonLeouel'sspending
afewdayswithhisownparents.
On 18 May 1988, Julia finally left for the United Sates of America to work as a nurse despite Leouel's pleas to so
dissuadeher.Sevenmonthsafterherdeparture,oron01January1989,JuliacalledupLeouelforthefirsttimebylong
distancetelephone.ShepromisedtoreturnhomeupontheexpirationofhercontractinJuly1989.Sheneverdid.When
LeouelgotachancetovisittheUnitedStates,whereheunderwentatrainingprogramundertheauspicesoftheArmed
ForcesofthePhilippinesfrom01Aprilupto25August1990,hedesperatelytriedtolocate,ortosomehowgetintouch
with,Juliabutallhiseffortswereofnoavail.
HavingfailedtogetJuliatosomehowcomehome,LeouelfiledwiththeregionaltrialCourtofNegrosOriental,Branch
30, a complaint for "Voiding of marriage Under Article 36 of the Family Code" (docketed, Civil Case No. 9814).
SummonswasservedbypublicationinanewspaperofgeneralcirculationinNegrosOriental.
On31May1991,respondentJulia,inheranswer(throughcounsel),opposedthecomplaintanddenieditsallegations,
claiming,inmain,thatitwasthepetitionerwhohad,infact,beenirresponsibleandincompetent.
ApossiblecollusionbetweenthepartiestoobtainadecreeofnullityoftheirmarriagewasruledoutbytheOfficeofthe
ProvincialProsecutor(initsreporttothecourt).
On 25 October 1991, after pretrial conferences had repeatedly been set,albeitunsuccessfully, by the court, Julia
ultimatelyfiledamanifestation,statingthatshewouldneitherappearnorsubmitevidence.
On06November1991,thecourtaquofinallydismissedthecomplaintforlackofmerit.3
LeouelappealedtotheCourtofAppeal.Thelatteraffirmedthedecisionofthetrialcourt.4
ThepetitionshouldbedeniednotonlybecauseofitsnoncompliancewithCircular2891,whichrequiresacertification
ofnonshopping,butalsoforitslackofmerit.
LeouelarguesthatthefailureofJuliatoreturnhome,orattheveryleasttocommunicatewithhim,formorethanfive
yearsarecircumstancesthatclearlyshowherbeingpsychologicallyincapacitatedtoenterintomarriedlife.Inhisown
words,Leouelasserts:
. . . (T)here is no leave, there is no affection for (him) because respondent Julia Rosario Bedia
Santosfailedalltheseyearstocommunicatewiththepetitioner.Awifewhodoesnotcaretoinform
her husband about her whereabouts for a period of five years, more or less, is psychologically
incapacitated.
ThefamilyCodedidnotdefinetheterm"psychologicalincapacity."ThedeliberationsduringthesessionsoftheFamily
CodeRevisionCommittee,whichhasdraftedtheCode,can,however,provideaninsightontheimportoftheprovision.
Art.35.Thefollowingmarriagesshallbevoidfromthebeginning:
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Art.36....
(7)Thosemarriagescontractedbyanypartywho,atthetimeofthecelebration,waswantinginthe
sufficient use of reason or judgment to understand the essential nature of marriage or was
psychologicallyormentallyincapacitatedtodischargetheessentialmaritalobligations,evenifsuch
lackofincapacityismademanifestafterthecelebration.
Onsubparagraph(7),whichasliftedfromtheCanonLaw,Justice(JoseB.L.)Reyessuggestedthat
theysay"wantinginsufficientuse,"butJustice(Eduardo)Caguioapreferredtosay"wantinginthe
sufficient use." On the other hand, Justice Reyes proposed that they say "wanting in sufficient
reason."JusticeCaguioa,however,pointedoutthattheideaisthatoneisnotlackinginjudgment
butthatheislackingintheexerciseofjudgment.Headdedthatlackofjudgmentwouldmakethe
marriagevoidable.Judge(AliciaSempio)Diyremarkedthatlackofjudgmentismoreseriousthan
insufficientuseofjudgmentandyetthelatterwouldmakethemarriagenullandvoidandtheformer
onlyvoidable.JusticeCaguioasuggestedthatsubparagraph(7)bemodifiedtoread:

"That contracted by any party who, at the time of the celebration, was
psychologicallyincapacitatedtodischargetheessentialmaritalobligations,even
ifsuchlackofincapacityismademanifestafterthecelebration."
JusticeCaguioaexplainedthatthephrase"waswantinginsufficientuseofreasonofjudgmentto
understand the essential nature of marriage" refers to defects in the mental faculties vitiating
consent, which is not the idea in subparagraph (7), but lack of appreciation of one's marital
obligations.
JudgeDiyraisedthequestion:Since"insanity"isalsoapsychologicalormentalincapacity,whyis
"insanity"onlyagroundforannulmentandnotfordeclarationornullity?Inreply,JusticeCaguioa
explainedthatininsanity,thereistheappearanceofconsent,whichisthereasonwhyitisaground
forvoidablemarriages,whilesubparagraph(7)doesnotrefertoconsentbuttotheveryessenceof
maritalobligations.
Prof. (Araceli) Baviera suggested that, in subparagraph (7), the word "mentally" be deleted, with
whichJusticeCaguioaconcurred.JudgeDiy,however,preferstoretaintheword"mentally."
JusticeCaguioaremarkedthatsubparagraph(7)referstopsychologicalimpotence.Justice(Ricardo)
Puno stated that sometimes a person may be psychologically impotent with one but not with
another.Justice(LeonorInes)Lucianosaidthatitiscalledselectiveimpotency.
Dean (Fortunato) Gupit stated that the confusion lies in the fact that in inserting the Canon Law
annulment in the Family Code, the Committee used a language which describes a ground for
voidable marriages under the Civil Code. Justice Caguioa added that in Canon Law, there are
voidablemarriagesundertheCanonLaw,therearenovoidablemarriagesDeanGupitsaidthatthis
ispreciselythereasonwhytheyshouldmakeadistinction.
JusticePunoremarkedthatinCanonLaw,thedefectsinmarriagecannotbecured.
Justice Reyes pointed out that the problem is: Why is "insanity" a ground for voidab
initiomarriages? In reply, Justice Caguioa explained that insanity is curable and there are lucid
intervals,whilepsychologicalincapacityisnot.
Onanotherpoint,JusticePunosuggestedthatthephrase"evenifsuchlackorincapacityismade
manifest"bemodifiedtoread"evenifsuchlackorincapacitybecomesmanifest."
JusticeReyesremarkedthatininsanity,atthetimeofthemarriage,itisnotapparent.
Justice Caguioa stated that there are two interpretations of the phrase "psychological or mentally
incapacitated" in the first one, there is vitiation of consent because one does not know all the
consequencesofthemarriages,andifhehadknownthesecompletely,hemightnothaveconsented
tothemarriage.
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Prof. Bautista stated that he is in favor of making psychological incapacity a ground for voidable
marriages since otherwise it will encourage one who really understood the consequences of
marriagetoclaimthathedidnotandtomakeexcusesforinvalidatingthemarriagebyactingasif
he did not understand the obligations of marriage. Dean Gupit added that it is a loose way of
providingfordivorce.
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JusticeCaguioaexplainedthathispointisthatinthecaseofincapacitybyreasonofdefectsinthe
mentalfaculties,whichislessthaninsanity,thereisadefectinconsentand,therefore,itisclearthat
it should be a ground for voidable marriage because there is the appearance of consent and it is
capableofconvalidationforthesimplereasonthattherearelucidintervalsandtherearecaseswhen
the insanity is curable. He emphasized that psychological incapacity does not refer to mental
facultiesandhasnothingtodowithconsentitreferstoobligationsattendanttomarriage.
xxxxxxxxx
Onpsychologicalincapacity,Prof.(FleridaRuthP.)Romeroinquirediftheydonotconsideritas
goingtotheveryessenceofconsent.Sheaskediftheyarereallyremovingitfromconsent.Inreply,

Justice Caguioa explained that, ultimately, consent in general is effected but he stressed that his
pointisthatitisnotprincipallyavitiationofconsentsincethereisavalidconsent.Heobjectedto
the lumping together of the validity of the marriage celebration and the obligations attendant to
marriage,whicharecompletelydifferentfromeachother,becausetheyrequireadifferentcapacity,
whichiseighteenyearsofage,formarriagebutincontract,itisdifferent.JusticePuno,however,
feltthatpsychologicalincapacityisstillakindofviceofconsentandthatitshouldnotbeclassified
as a voidable marriage which is incapable of convalidation it should be convalidated but there
shouldbenoprescription.Inotherwords,aslongasthedefecthasnotbeencured,thereisalwaysa
right to annul the marriage and if the defect has been really cured, it should be a defense in the
actionforannulmentsothatwhentheactionforannulmentisinstituted,theissuecanberaisedthat
actually, although one might have been psychologically incapacitated, at the time the action is
brought,itisnolongertruethathehasnoconceptoftheconsequenceofmarriage.
Prof.(Esteban)Bautistaraisedthequestion:Willnotcohabitationbeadefense?Inresponse,Justice
Puno stated that even the bearing of children and cohabitation should not be a sign that
psychologicalincapacityhasbeencured.
Prof. Romero opined that psychological incapacity is still insanity of a lesser degree. Justice
Lucianosuggestedthattheyinviteapsychiatrist,whoistheexpertonthismatter.JusticeCaguioa,
however,reiteratedthatpsychologicalincapacityisnotadefectinthemindbutintheunderstanding
oftheconsequencesofmarriage,andtherefore,apsychiatristwillnotbeahelp.
Prof.Bautistastatedthat,inthesamemannerthatthereisalucidintervalininsanity,therearealso
momentaryperiodswhenthereisanunderstandingoftheconsequencesofmarriage.JusticeReyes
andDeanGupitremarkedthatthegroundofpsychologicalincapacitywillnotapplyifthemarriage
wascontractedatthetimewhenthereisunderstandingoftheconsequencesofmarriage.5
xxxxxxxxx
Judge Diy proposed that they include physical incapacity to copulate among the grounds for void
marriages.JusticeReyescommentedthatinsomeinstancestheimpotencethatinsomeinstancesthe
impotenceisonlytemporaryandonlywithrespecttoaparticularperson.JudgeDiystatedthatthey
canspecifythatitisincurable.JusticeCaguioaremarkedthattheterm"incurable"hasadifferent
meaninginlawandinmedicine.JudgeDiystatedthat"psychologicalincapacity"canalsobecured.
JusticeCaguioa,however,pointedoutthat"psychologicalincapacity"isincurable.
JusticePunoobservedthatunderthepresentdraftprovision,itisenoughtoshowthatatthetimeof
thecelebrationofthemarriage,onewaspsychologicallyincapacitatedsothatlateronifalreadyhe
cancomplywiththeessentialmaritalobligations,themarriageisstillvoidabinitio.JusticeCaguioa
explainedthatsinceindivorce,thepsychologicalincapacitymayoccurafterthemarriage,invoid
marriages,ithastobeatthetimeofthecelebrationofmarriage.He,however,stressedthattheidea
in the provision is that at the time of the celebration of the marriage, one is psychologically
incapacitatedtocomplywiththeessentialmaritalobligations,whichincapacitycontinuesandlater
becomesmanifest.
Justice Puno and Judge Diy, however, pointed out that it is possible that after the marriage, one's
psychological incapacity become manifest but later on he is cured. Justice Reyes and Justice
Caguioaopinedthattheremedyinthiscaseistoallowhimtoremarry.6
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JusticePunoformulatedthenextArticleasfollows:
Art.37.Amarriagecontractedbyanypartywho,atthetimeofthecelebration,
was psychologically incapacitated, to comply with the essential obligations of
marriage shall likewise be void from the beginning even if such incapacity
becomesmanifestafteritssolemnization.
Justice Caguioa suggested that "even if" be substituted with "although." On the other hand, Prof.
Bautista proposed that the clause "although such incapacity becomes manifest after its
solemnization"bedeletedsinceitmayencourageonetocreatethemanifestationofpsychological

incapacity.JusticeCaguioapointedoutthat,asinotherprovisions,theycannotargueonthebasisof
abuse.
Judge Diy suggested that they also include mental and physical incapacities, which are lesser in
degree than psychological incapacity. Justice Caguioa explained that mental and physical
incapacitiesarevicesofconsentwhilepsychologicalincapacityisnotaspeciesofviceorconsent.
Dean Gupit read what Bishop Cruz said on the matter in the minutes of their February 9, 1984
meeting:
"On the third ground, Bishop Cruz indicated that the phrase "psychological or
mentalimpotence"isaninventionofsomechurchmenwhoaremoralistsbutnot
canonists,thatiswhyitisconsideredaweakphrase.HesaidthattheCodeof
Canon Law would rather express it as "psychological or mental incapacity to
discharge..."
JusticeCaguioaremarkedthattheydeletedtheword"mental"preciselytodistinguishitfromviceof
consent. He explained that "psychological incapacity" refers to lack of understanding of the
essentialobligationsofmarriage.
JusticePunoremindedthemembersthat,atthelastmeeting,theyhavedecidednottogointothe
classificationof"psychologicalincapacity"becausetherewasalotofdebateonitandthatthisis
preciselythereasonwhytheyclassifieditasaspecialcase.
Atthispoint,JusticePuno,remarkedthat,sincetherehavingbeenannulmentsofmarriagesarising
frompsychologicalincapacity,CivilLawshouldnotreconcilewithCanonLawbecauseitisanew
groundevenunderCanonLaw.
Prof.Romeroraisedthequestion:WiththiscommonprovisioninCivilLawandinCanonLaw,are
theygoingtohaveaprovisionintheFamilyCodetotheeffectthatmarriagesannulledordeclared
void by the church on the ground of psychological incapacity is automatically annulled in Civil
Law?Theothermembersrepliednegatively.
Justice Puno and Prof. Romero inquired if Article 37 should be retroactive or prospective in
application.
Justice Diy opined that she was for its retroactivity because it is their answer to the problem of
church annulments of marriages, which are still valid under the Civil Law. On the other hand,
JusticeReyesandJusticePunowereconcernedabouttheavalancheofcases.
DeanGupitsuggestedthattheyputtheissuetoavote,whichtheCommitteeapproved.
Themembersvotedasfollows:
(1)JusticeReyes,JusticePunoandProf.Romerowereforprospectivity.
(2) Justice Caguioa, Judge Diy, Dean Gupit, Prof. Bautista and Director Eufemio were for
retroactivity.
(3)Prof.Bavieraabstained.
Justice Caguioa suggested that they put in the prescriptive period of ten years within which the
actionfordeclarationofnullityofthemarriageshouldbefiledincourt.TheCommitteeapproved
thesuggestion.7
Itcouldwellbethat,insum,theFamilyCodeRevisionCommitteeinultimatelydecidingtoadopttheprovisionwith
less specificity than expected, has in fact, so designed the law as to allow some resiliency in its application. Mme.
JusticeAliciaV.SempioDiy,amemberoftheCodeCommittee,hasbeenquotedbyMr.JusticeJosueN.Bellosillo
inSalitavs.Hon.Magtolis(G.R.No.106429,13June1994)thus:8
The Committee did not give any examples of psychological incapacity for fear that the giving of
examples would limit the applicability of the provision under the principle ofejusdem generis.
Rather,theCommitteewouldlikethejudgetointerprettheprovisiononacasetocasebasis,guided
byexperience,thefindingsofexpertsandresearchersinpsychologicaldisciplines,andbydecisions

ofchurchtribunalswhich,althoughnotbindingonthecivilcourts,maybegivenpersuasiveeffect
sincetheprovisionwastakenfromCanonLaw.
ApartoftheprovisionissimilartoCanon1095oftheNewCodeofCanonLaw,9whichreads:
Canon1095.Theyareincapableofcontractingmarriage:
1.wholacksufficientuseofreason
2.whosufferfromagravedefectofdiscretionofjudgmentconcerningessentilamatrimonialrights
andduties,tobegivenandacceptedmutually
3. who for causes of psychological nature are unable to assume the essential obligations of
marriage.(Emphasissupplied.)
Accordingly,althoughneitherdecisivenorevenperhapsallthatpersuasiveforhavingnojuridicalorseculareffect,the
jurisprudence under Canon Law prevailing at the time of the code's enactment, nevertheless, cannot be dismissed as
impertinentforitsvalueasanaid,atleast,totheinterpretationorconstructionofthecodalprovision.
Oneauthor,LadislasOrsy,S.J.,inhistreaties,10givinganaccountonhowthethirdparagraphofCanon1095hasbeen
framed,states:
The history of the drafting of this canon does not leave any doubt that the legislator intended,
indeed,tobroadentherule.Astrictandnarrownormwasproposedfirst:
Those who cannot assume the essential obligations of marriage because of a
grave psychosexual anomaly (ob gravem anomaliam psychosexualem) are
unabletocontractmarriage(cf.SCH/1975,canon297,anewcanon,novus)
thenabroaderonefollowed:
. . . because of a grave psychological anomaly (ob gravem anomaliam psychicam) . . .
(cf.SCH/1980,canon1049)
thenthesamewordingwasretainedinthetextsubmittedtothepope(cf.SCH/1982,canon1095,3)
finally,anewversionwaspromulgated:
becauseofcausesofapsychologicalnature(obcausasnaturaepsychiae).
So the progress was from psychosexual to psychological anomaly, then the term anomaly was
altogethereliminated.itwouldbe,however,incorrecttodrawtheconclusionthatthecauseofthe
incapacity need not be some kind of psychological disorder after all, normal and healthy person
shouldbeabletoassumetheordinaryobligationsofmarriage.
Fr.Orsyconcedesthattheterm"psychologicalincapacity"defiesanyprecisedefinitionsincepsychologicalcausescan
beofaninfinitevariety.
Inabook,entitled"CanonsandCommentariesonMarriage,"writtenbyIgnatiusGramunt,JavierHervadaandLeRoy
Wauck,thefollowingexplanationappears:
Thisincapacityconsistsofthefollowing:(a)atrueinabilitytocommitoneselftotheessentialsof
marriage.Somepsychosexualdisordersandotherdisordersofpersonalitycanbethepsychiccause
ofthisdefect,whichisheredescribedinlegalterms.Thisparticulartypeofincapacityconsistsofa
realinabilitytorenderwhatisduebythecontract.Thiscouldbecomparedtotheincapacityofa
farmer to enter a binding contract to deliver the crops which he cannot possibly reap (b) this
inabilitytocommitoneselfmustrefertotheessentialobligationsofmarriage:theconjugalact,the
community of life and love, the rendering of mutual help, the procreation and education of
offspring(c)theinabilitymustbetantamounttoapsychologicalabnormality.Themeredifficultyof
assuming these obligations, which could be overcome by normal effort, obviously does not
constituteincapacity.Thecanoncontemplatesatruepsychologicaldisorderwhichincapacitatesa
personfromgivingwhatisdue(cf.JohnPaulII,AddresstoR.Rota,Feb.5,1987).However,ifthe
marriageistobedeclaredinvalidunderthisincapacity,itmustbeprovednotonlythatthepersonis
afflictedbyapsychologicaldefect,butthatthedefectdidinfactdeprivetheperson,atthemoment
ofgivingconsent,oftheabilitytoassumetheessentialdutiesofmarriageandconsequentlyofthe
possibilityofbeingboundbytheseduties.

JusticeSempioDiy11citeswithapprovaltheworkofDr.GerardoVeloso,aformerPresidingJudgeoftheMetropolitan
MarriageTribunaloftheCatholicArchdioceseofManila(Branch1),whoopinesthatpsychologicalincapacitymustbe
characterizedby(a)gravity,(b)juridicalantecedence,and(c)incurability.Theincapacitymustbegraveorserioussuch
that the party would be incapable of carrying out the ordinary duties required in marriage it must be rooted in the
historyofthepartyantedatingthemarriage,althoughtheovertmanifestationsmayemergeonlyafterthemarriageand
itmustbeincurableor,evenifitwereotherwise,thecurewouldbebeyondthemeansofthepartyinvolved.
Itshouldbeobvious,lookingatalltheforegoingdisquisitions,including,andmostimportantly,thedeliberationsofthe
FamilyCodeRevisionCommitteeitself,thattheuseofthephrase"psychologicalincapacity"underArticle36ofthe
Code has not been meant to comprehend all such possible cases of psychoses as, likewise mentioned by some
ecclesiasticalauthorities,extremelylowintelligence,immaturity,andlikecircumstances(citedinFr.ArtemioBaluma's
"Void and Voidable Marriages in the Family Code and their Parallels in Canon Law," quoting from the Diagnostic
Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder by the American Psychiatric Association Edward Hudson's "Handbook II for
MarriageNullityCases").Article36oftheFamilyCodecannotbetakenandconstruedindependentlyof,butmuststand
inconjunctionwith,existingpreceptsinourlawonmarriage.Thuscorrelated,"psychologicalincapacity"shouldrefer
to no less than a mental (not physical) incapacity that causes a party to be truly incognitive of the basic marital
covenantsthatconcomitantlymustbeassumedanddischargedbythepartiestothemarriagewhich,assoexpressedby
Article68oftheFamilyCode,includetheirmutualobligationstolivetogether,observelove,respectandfidelityand
renderhelpandsupport.Thereishardlyanydoubtthattheintendmentofthelawhasbeentoconfinethemeaningof
"psychological incapacity" to the most serious cases of personality disorders clearly demonstrative of an utter
intensitivityorinabilitytogivemeaningandsignificancetothemarriage.Thispschologicconditionmustexistatthe
timethemarriageiscelebrated.Thelawdoesnotevidentlyenvision,upontheotherhand,aninabilityofthespouseto
havesexualrelationswiththeother.ThisconclusionisimplicitunderArticle54oftheFamilyCodewhichconsiders
childrenconceivedpriortothejudicialdeclarationofnullityofthevoidmarriagetobe"legitimate."
Theotherformsofpsychoses,ifexistingattheinceptionofmarriage,likethestateofapartybeingofunsoundmindor
concealment of drug addiction, habitual alcoholism, homosexuality or lesbianism, merely renders the marriage
contractvoidablepursuant to Article 46, Family Code. If drug addiction, habitual alcholism, lesbianism or
homosexualityshouldoccuronlyduringthemarriage,theybecomemeregroundsforlegalseparationunderArticle55
oftheFamilyCode.TheseprovisionsoftheCode,however,donotnecessarilyprecludethepossibilityofthesevarious
circumstances being themselves, depending on the degree and severity of the disorder,indiciaof psychological
incapacity.
Untilfurtherstatutoryandjurisprudentialparametersareestablished,everycircumstancethatmayhavesomebearing
onthedegree,extent,andotherconditionsofthatincapacitymust,ineverycase,becarefullyexaminedandevaluated
sothatnoprecipitateandindiscriminatenullityisperemptorilydecreed.Thewellconsideredopinionsofpsychiatrists,
psychologists,andpersonswithexpertiseinpsychologicaldisciplinesmightbehelpfulorevendesirable.
Marriageisnotanadventurebutalifetimecommitment.Weshouldcontinuetoberemindedthatinnateinoursociety,
thenenshrinedinourCivilCode,andevennowstillindelibleinArticle1oftheFamilyCode,isthat
Art.1.Marriageisaspecialcontractofpermanentunionbetweenamanawomanenteredintoin
accordance with law for the establishment of conjugal and family life. It is thefoundation of the
familyandaninviolablesocialinstitutionwhosenature,consequences,andincidentsaregoverned
bylawandnotsubjecttostipulation,exceptthatmarriagesettlementsmayfixthepropertyrelations
duringthemarriagewithinthelimitsprovidedbythisCode.(Emphasissupplied.)
OurConstitutionisnolessemphatic:
Sec.1.TheStaterecognizestheFilipinofamilyasthefoundationofthenation.Accordingly,itshall
strengthenitssolidarityandactivelypromoteitstotaldevelopment.
Sec. 2. Marriage, as an inviolable social institution, is the foundation of the family and shall be
protectedbytheState.(ArticleXV,1987Constitution).
Theaboveprovisionsexpresssowellandsodistinctlythebasicnucleusofourlawsonmarriageandthefamily,and
theyaredoubtthetenetswestillholdonto.

The factual settings in the case at bench, in no measure at all, can come close to the standards required to decree a
nullityofmarriage.Undeniablyandunderstandably,Leouelstandsaggrieved,evendesperate,inhispresentsituation.
Regrettably,neitherlawnorsocietyitselfcanalwaysprovideallthespecificanswerstoeveryindividualproblem.
WHEREFORE,thepetitionisDENIED.
SOORDERED.
Narvasa, C.J., Bidin, Regalado, Davide, Jr., Romero, Bellosillo, Melo, Quiason, Puno Kapunan and Mendoza, JJ.,
concur.
Feliciano,J.,isonleave.
SeparateOpinions
PADILLA,J.,dissenting:
ItisdifficulttodissentfromawellwrittenandstudiedopinionasMr.JusticeVitug'sponencia.But,afteranextended
reflectiononthefactsofthiscase,Icannotseemywayclearintoholding,asthemajoritydo,thatthereisnogroundfor
thedeclarationofnullityofthemarriagebetweenpetitionerandprivaterespondent.
Tomymind,itisclearthatprivaterespondenthasbeenshowntobepsychologicallyincapacitatedtocomplywithat
leastoneessentialmaritalobligation,i.e.thatoflivingandcohabitingwithherhusband,hereinpetitioner.Ontheother
hand,ithasnotbeenshownthatpetitionerdoesnotdeservetoliveandcohabitwithhiswife,hereinprivaterespondent.
Thereappearstobenodisagreementthattheterm"psychologicalincapacity"defiesprecisionindefinition.But,asused
inArticle36oftheFamilyCodeasagroundforthedeclarationofnullityofamarriage,theintentoftheframersofthe
Codeisevidentlytoexpandandliberalizethegroundsfornullifyingamarriage,aswellpointedoutbyMadamJustice
FleridaRuthP.Romeroinherseparateopinioninthiscase.
Whileitistruethattheboardterm"psychologicalincapacity"canopenthedoorstoabusebycoupleswhomaywishto
haveaneasywayoutoftheirmarriage,thereare,however,enoughsafeguardsagainstthiscontingency,amongwhich,
is the intervention by the State, through the public prosecutor, to guard against collusion between the parties and/or
fabricationofevidence.
In their case at bench, it has been abundantly established that private respondent Julia Rosario BediaSantos exhibits
specific behavior which, to my mind, shows that she is psychologically incapacitated to fulfill her essential marital
obligations,towrit:
a.Ittookherseven(7)monthsaftersheleftfortheUnitedStatestocallupherhusband.
b.JuliapromisedtoreturnhomeafterherjobcontractexpiredinJuly1989,butsheneverdidand
neitheristhereanyshowingthatsheinformedherhusband(hereinpetitioner)ofherwhereaboutsin
theU.S.A.
c. When petitioner went to the United States on a mission for the Philippine Army, he exerted
effortsto"touchbase"withJuliatherewerenosimilareffortsonthepartofJuliatherewereno
similareffortsonthepartofJuliatodothesame.
d.Whenpetitionerfiledthissuit,morethanfive(5)yearshadelapsed,withoutJuliaindicatingher
planstorejointhepetitionerorherwhereabouts.
e.Whenpetitionerfiledthiscaseinthetrialcourt,Julia,inheranswer,claimedthatitistheformer
whohasbeenirresponsibleandincompetent.
f.Duringthetrial,Juliawaivedherrighttoappearandsubmitevidence.
Aspouse'sobligationtoliveandcohabitwithhis/herpartnerinmarriageisabasicgroundruleinmarriage,unlessthere
areoverpoweringcompellingreasonssuchas,forinstance,anincurablecontagiousdiseaseonthepartofaspouseor
cruelty of one partner, bordering on insanity. There may also be instances when, for economic and practical reasons,
husbandandwifehavetoliveseparately,butthemaritalbondbetweenthespousesalwaysremains.Mutualloveand
respectforeachotherwould,insuchcases,compeltheabsentspousetoatleasthaveregularcontractswiththeotherto
informthelatterofhis/herconditionandwhereabouts.
Inthepresentcase,itisapparentthatprivaterespondentJuliaRosarioBediaSantoshasnointentionofcohabitingwith
petitioner,herhusband,ormaintainingcontactwithhim.Infact,heractseloquentlyshowthatshedoesnotwanther
husbandtoknowofherwhereaboutsandneitherhassheanyintentionoflivingandcohabitingwithhim.

Tomethereappearstobe,onthepartofprivaterespondent,anunmistakeableindicationofpsychologicalincapacityto
complywithheressentialmaritalobligations,althoughtheseindicationsweremademanifestafterthecelebrationofthe
marriage.
Itwouldbeagreatinjustice,Ibelieve,topetitionerforthisCourttogiveamuchtoorestrictiveinterpretationofthelaw
andcompelthepetitionertocontinuetobemarriedtoawifewhoforpurposesoffulfillinghermaritaldutieshas,forall
practicalpurposes,ceasedtoexist.
Besides,therearepublicpolicyconsiderationsinvolvedintherulingtheCourtmakestoday.Isitnot,ineffectdirectly
or indirectly, facilitating the transformation of petitioner into a "habitual tryster" or one forced to maintain illicit
relationswithanotherwomanorwomenwithemergingproblemsofillegitimatechildren,simplybecauseheisdenied
byprivaterespondent,hiswife,thecompanionshipandconjugallovewhichhehassoughtfromherandtowhichheis
legallyentitled?
IdonotgoasfarastosuggestthatArt.36oftheFamilyCodeisasanctionforabsolutedivorcebutIsubmitthatwe
shouldnotconstrictittononrecognitionofitsevidentpurposeandthusdenytoonelikepetitioner,anopportunityto
turnanewleafinhislifebydeclaringhismarriageanullitybyreasonofhiswife'spsychologicalincapacitytoperform
anessentialmaritalobligation.
IthereforevotetoGRANTthepetitionandtoDECLAREthemarriagebetweenpetitionerLeouelSantosandprivate
respondentJuliaRosarioBediaSantosVOIDonthebasisofArticle36oftheFamilyCode.
ROMERO,J.,concurring:
I agree under the circumstances of the case, petitioner is not entitled to have his marriage declared a nullity on the
groundofpsychologicalincapacityofprivaterespondent.
However,asamemberofboththeFamilyLawRevisionCommitteeoftheIntegratedBarofthePhilippinesandthe
Civil Code Revision Committee of the UP Law Center, I wish to add some observations. The letter1dated April 15,
1985ofthenJudgeAliciaV.SempioDiywritteninbehalfoftheFamilyLawandCivilCodeRevisionCommitteeto
thenAssemblywomanMercedesCojuangcoTeodorotracedthebackgroundoftheinclusionofthepresentArticle36in
theFamilyCode.
During its early meetings, the Family Law Committee had thought of including a chapter on
absolute divorce in the draft of a new Family Code (Book I of the Civil Code) that it had been
taskedbytheIBPandtheUPLawCentertoprepare.Infact,somemembersoftheCommitteewere
infavorofanofaultdivorcebetweenthespousesafteranumberofyearsofseparation,legalorde
facto.JusticeJ.B.L.Reyeswasthenrequestedtoprepareaproposalforanactionfordissolutionof
marriage and the effects thereof based on two grounds: (a) five continuous years of separation
between the spouses, with or without a judicial decree of legal separation, and (b) whenever a
marriedpersonwouldhaveobtainedadecreeofabsolutedivorceinanothercountry.Actually,such
a proposal is one for absolute divorce but called by another name. Later, even the Civil Code
RevisionCommitteetooktimetodiscusstheproposalofJusticeReyesonthismatter.
Subsequently, however, when the Civil Code Revision Committee and Family Law Committee
startedholdingjointmeetingsonthepreparationofthedraftoftheNewFamilyCode,theyagreed
andformulatedthedefinitionofmarriageas
"a special contract of permanent partnership between a man and a woman
enteredintoinaccordancewithlawfortheestablishmentofconjugalandfamily
life. It is an inviolable social institution whose nature, consequences, and
incidents are governed by law and not subject to stipulation, except that
marriagesettlementsmayfixthepropertyrelationsduringthemarriagewithin
thelimitsprovidedbylaw."
With the above definition, and considering the Christian traditional concept of marriage of the
Filipinopeopleasapermanent,inviolable,indissolublesocialinstitutionuponwhichthefamilyand
societyarefounded,andalsorealizingthestrongoppositionthatanyprovisiononabsolutedivorce
would encounter from the Catholic Church and the Catholic sector of our citizenry to whom the
greatmajorityofourpeoplebelong,thetwoCommitteesintheirjointmeetingsdidnotpursuethe
idea of absolute divorce and instead opted for an action for judicial declaration of invalidity of

marriagebasedongroundsavailableintheCanonLaw.Itwasthoughtthatsuchanactionwould
notonlybeanacceptablealternativetodivorcebutwouldalsosolvethenaggingproblemofchurch
annulmentsofmarriagesongroundsnotrecognizedbythecivillawoftheState.JusticeReyeswas
thusrequestedtoagainprepareadraftofprovisionsonsuchactionforcelebrationofinvalidityof
marriage.Stilllater,toavoidtheoverlappingofprovisionsonvoidmarriagesasfoundinthepresent
CivilCodeandthoseproposedbyJusticeReyesonjudicialdeclarationofinvalidityofmarriageon
groundssimilartotheCanonLaw,thetwoCommitteesnowworkingasaJointCommitteeinthe
preparationofaNewFamilyCodedecidedtoconsolidatethepresentprovisionsonvoidmarriages
with the proposals of Justice Reyes. The result was the inclusion of an additional kind of void
marriageintheenumerationofvoidmarriagesinthepresentCivilCode,towit:
"(7) Those marriages contracted by any party who, at the time of the
celebration, was wanting in the sufficient use of reason or judgment to
understandtheessentialnatureofmarriageorwaspsychologicallyormentally
incapacitatedtodischargetheessentialmaritalobligations,evenifsuchlackof
incapacityismademanifestafterthecelebration."
aswellasthefollowingimplementingprovisions:
"Art.32.Theabsolutenullityofamarriagemaybeinvokedorpleadedonlyon
thebasisofafinaljudgmentdeclaringthemarriagevoid,withoutprejudiceto
theprovisionofArticle34."
"Art. 33. The action or defense for the declaration of the absolute nullity of a
marriageshallnotprescribe."
xxxxxxxxx
Itisbelievedthatmanyhopelesslybrokenmarriagesinourcountrytodaymayalreadydissolvedor
annulled on the grounds proposed by the Joint Committee on declaration of nullity as well as
annulment of marriages, thus rendering an absolute divorce law unnecessary. In fact, during a
conference with Father Gerald Healy of the Ateneo University as well as another meeting with
Archbishop Oscar Cruz of the Archdiocese of Pampanga, the Joint Committee was informed that
sinceVaticanII,theCatholicChurchhasbeendeclaringmarriagesnullandvoidonthegroundof
"lackofduediscretion"forcausesthat,inotherjurisdictions,wouldbecleargroundsfordivorce,
liketeenageorprematuremarriagesmarriagetoamanwho,becauseofsomepersonalitydisorder
ordisturbance,cannotsupportafamilythefoolishorridiculouschoiceofaspousebyanotherwise
perfectly normal person marriage to a woman who refuses to cohabit with her husband or who
refuses to have children. Bishop Cruz also informed the Committee that they have found out in
tribunal work that a lot of machismo among husbands are manifestations of their sociopathic
personalityanomaly,likeinflictingphysicalviolenceupontheirwives,constitutionalindolenceor
laziness,drugdependenceoraddiction,andpsychologicalanomaly....(Emphasissupplied)
Clearly, by incorporating what is now Article 36 into the Family Code, the Revision Committee referred to above
intended to add another ground to those already listed in the Civil Code as grounds for nullifying a marriage, thus
expanding or liberalizing the same. Inherent in the inclusion of the provision on psychological incapacity was the
understandingthateverypetitionfordeclarationofnullitybasedonitshouldbetreatedonacasetocasebasishence,
theabsenceofadefinitionandanenumerationofwhatconstitutespsychologicalincapacity.Moreover,theCommittee
fearedthatthegivingofexampleswouldlimittheapplicabilityoftheprovisionundertheprincipleofejusdemgeneris.
Butthelawrequiresthatthesamebeexistingatthetimeofmarriagealthoughitbemanifestedlater.
Admittedly,theprovisiononpsychologicalincapacity,justlikeanyotherprovisionoflaw,isopentoabuse.Toprevent
this,"thecourtshalltakeordertheprosecutingattorneyorfiscalassignedtoittoappearonbehalfoftheStatetotake
stepstopreventcollusionbetweenthepartiesandtotakecarethatevidenceisnotfabricatedorsuppressed."2Moreover,
thejudge,ininterpretingtheprovisiononacasetocasebasis,mustbeguidedby"experience,thefindingsofexperts
andresearchersinpsychologicaldisciplines,andbydecisionsofchurchtribunalswhich,althoughnotbindingonthe
civilcourts,maybegivenpersuasiveeffectsincetheprovisionswastakenfromCanonLaw."3

The constitutional and statutory provisions on the family4will remain the lodestar which our society will hope to
achieveultimately.Therefore,theinclusionofArticle36isnottobetakenasanabandonmentoftheidealwhichweall
cherish. If at all, it is a recognition of the reality that some marriages, by reason of the incapacity of one of the
contractingparties,fallshortofthisidealthus,thepartiesareconstrainedtofindawayofputtinganendtotheirunion
throughsomelegallyacceptedmeans.
Anycriticismdirectedatthewaythatjudgeshaveinterpretedtheprovisionsinceitsenactmentastorenderiteasierfor
unhappilymarried couples to separate is addressed, not to the wisdom of the lawmakers but to the manner by which
somemembersoftheBenchha
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES,petitioner, vs.COURT OF APPEALS and RORIDEL OLAVIANO
MOLINA,respondents.
DECISION
PANGANIBAN,J.:
TheFamilyCodeofthePhilippinesprovidesanentirelynewground(inadditiontothoseenumeratedintheCivil
Code)toassailthevalidityofamarriage,namely,psychologicalincapacity.SincetheCodeseffectivity,ourcourtshave
been swamped with various petitions to declare marriages void based on this ground.Although this Court had
interpretedthemeaningofpsychologicalincapacityintherecentcaseofSantosvs.CourtofAppeals,stillmanyjudges
andlawyersfinddifficultyinapplyingsaidnovelprovisioninspecificcases.Inthepresentcaseandinthecontextof
the herein assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals, the Solicitor General has labelled exaggerated to be sure but
nonetheless expressive of his frustration Article 36 as the most liberal divorce procedure in the world.Hence, this
Courtinadditiontoresolvingthepresentcase,findstheneedtolaydownspecificguidelinesintheinterpretationand
applicationofArticle36oftheFamilyCode.
BeforeusisapetitionforreviewoncertiorariunderRule45challengingtheJanuary25,1993Decision[1]ofthe
CourtofAppeals[2]inCAG.R.CVNo.34858affirmingintototheMay14,1991decisionoftheRegionalTrialCourt
of La Trinidad,[3]Benguet, which declared the marriage of respondent Roridel Olaviano Molina to Reynaldo Molina
voidabinitio,onthegroundofpsychologicalincapacityunderArticle36oftheFamilyCode.
TheFacts
This case was commenced on August 16, 1990 with the filing by respondent Roridel O. Molina of a verified
petitionfordeclarationofnullityofhermarriagetoReynaldoMolina.Essentially,thepetitionallegedthatRorideland
ReynaldoweremarriedonApril14,1985attheSanAgustinChurch[4]inManilathatason,AndreO.Molinawasborn
thatafterayearofmarriage,Reynaldoshowedsignsofimmaturityandirresponsibilityasahusbandandafathersince
hepreferredtospendmoretimewithhispeersandfriendsonwhomhesquanderedhismoneythathedependedonhis
parents for aid and assistance, and was never honest with his wife in regard to their finances, resulting in frequent
quarrels between them that sometime in February 1986, Reynaldo was relieved of his job in Manila, and since then
RoridelhadbeenthesolebreadwinnerofthefamilythatinOctober1986thecouplehadaveryintensequarrel,asa
resultofwhichtheirrelationshipwasestrangedthatinMarch1987,RoridelresignedfromherjobinManilaandwent
tolivewithherparentsinBaguioCitythatafewweekslater,ReynaldoleftRoridelandtheirchild,andhadsincethen
abandoned them that Reynaldo had thus shown that he was psychologically incapable of complying with essential
maritalobligationsandwasahighlyimmatureandhabituallyquarrelsomeindividualwhothoughtofhimselfasaking
tobeservedandthatitwouldbetothecouplesbestinteresttohavetheirmarriagedeclarednullandvoidinorderto
freethemfromwhatappearedtobeanincompatiblemarriagefromthestart.
InhisAnswerfiledonAugust28,1989,ReynaldoadmittedthatheandRoridelcouldnolongerlivetogetheras
husband and wife, but contended that their misunderstandings and frequent quarrels were due to (1) Roridels strange
behaviorofinsistingonmaintaininghergroupoffriendsevenaftertheirmarriage(2)Roridelsrefusaltoperformsome
ofhermaritaldutiessuchascookingmealsand(3)Roridelsfailuretorunthehouseholdandhandletheirfinances.
DuringthepretrialonOctober17,1990,thefollowingwerestipulated:
1.ThatthepartieshereinwerelegallymarriedonApril14,1985attheChurchofSt.Augustine,Manila
2.Thatoutoftheirmarriage,achildnamedAlbertAndreOlavianoMolinawasbornonJuly29,1986
3.Thatthepartiesareseparatedinfactformorethanthreeyears
4.Thatpetitionerisnotaskingsupportforherandherchild

5.Thattherespondentisnotaskingfordamages
6.Thatthecommonchildofthepartiesisinthecustodyofthepetitionerwife.
EvidenceforhereinrespondentwifeconsistedofherowntestimonyandthatofherfriendsRosemarieVentura
andMariaLeonoraPadillaaswellasofRuthG.Lalas,asocialworker,andofDr.TeresitaHidalgoSison,apsychiatrist
of the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center.She also submitted documents marked as Exhibits A to E
1.Reynaldodidnotpresentanyevidenceasheappearedonlyduringthepretrialconference.
On May 14, 1991, the trial court rendered judgment declaring the marriage void.The appeal of petitioner was
deniedbytheCourtofAppealswhichaffirmedintototheRTCsdecision.Hence,thepresentrecourse.
TheIssue
In his petition, the Solicitor General insists that the Court of Appeals made an erroneous and incorrect
interpretation of the phrase psychological incapacity (as provided under Art. 36 of the Family Code) and made an
incorrectapplicationthereoftothefactsofthecase,addingthattheappealedDecisiontendedtoestablishineffectthe
mostliberaldivorceprocedureintheworldwhichisanathematoourculture.
IndenyingtheSolicitorGeneralsappeal,therespondentCourtrelied[5]heavilyonthetrialcourtsfindingsthatthe
marriagebetweenthepartiesbrokeupbecauseoftheiropposingandconflictingpersonalities.Then,itaddeditsown
opinion that the Civil Code Revision Committee (hereinafter referred to as the Committee) intended to liberalize the
applicationofourcivillawsonpersonalandfamilyrightsxxx.Itconcludedthat:
Asagroundforannulmentofmarriage,Weviewpsychologicalincapacityasabroadrangeofmentalandbehavioral
conductonthepartofonespouseindicativeofhowheorsheregardsthemaritalunion,hisorherpersonalrelationship
with the other spouse, as well as his or her conduct in the long haul for the attainment of the principal objectives of
marriage.If said conduct, observed and considered as a whole, tends to cause the union to selfdestruct because it
defeatstheveryobjectivesofmarriage,thenthereisenoughreasontoleavethespousestotheirindividualfates.
Inthecaseatbar,Wefindthatthetrialjudgecommittednoindiscretioninanalyzinganddecidingtheinstantcase,asit
did,hence,Wefindnocogentreasontodisturbthefindingsandconclusionsthusmade.
Respondent,inherMemorandum,adoptsthesediscussionsoftheCourtofAppeals.
The petitioner, on the other hand, argues that opposing and conflicting personalities is not equivalent to
psychological incapacity, explaining that such ground is not simply theneglectby the parties to the marriage of their
responsibilitiesandduties,butadefectintheirpsychologicalnaturewhichrendersthemincapableofperformingsuch
maritalresponsibilitiesandduties.
TheCourtsRuling
Thepetitionismeritorious.
In Leouel Santos vs. Court of Appeals,[6]this Court, speaking thru Mr. Justice Jose C. Vitug, ruled that
psychologicalincapacityshouldrefertonolessthanamental(notphysical)incapacityxxxandthat(t)hereishardly
any doubt that the intendment of the law has been to confine the meaning of psychological incapacity to the most
serious cases of personality disorders clearly demonstrative of an utter insensitivity or inability to give meaning and
significance to the marriage.This psychologic condition must exist at the time the marriage is celebrated.Citing Dr.
Gerardo Veloso, a former presiding judge of the Metropolitan Marriage Tribunal of the Catholic Archdiocese of
Manila,[7]Justice Vitug wrote that the psychological incapacity must be characterized by (a) gravity, (b) juridical
antecedence,and(c)incurability.
Ontheotherhand,inthepresentcase,thereisnoclearshowingtousthatthepsychologicaldefectspokenofisan
incapacity.It appears to us to be more of a difficulty, if not outright refusal or neglect in the performance of some
marital obligations. Mere showing of 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 beincapableof doing so, due to some psychological (not
physical)illness.
The evidence adduced by respondent merely showed that she and her husband could not get along with each
other.Therehadbeennoshowingofthegravityoftheproblemneitheritsjuridicalantecedencenoritsincurability.The
expert testimony of Dr. Sison showed no incurable psychiatric disorder but only incompatibility, not psychological
incapacity.Dr.Sisontestified:[8]

COURT
QItisthereforetherecommendationofthepsychiatristbasedonyourfindingsthatitisbetterfortheCourt
toannul(sic)themarriage?
AYes,YourHonor.
QThereisnohopeforthemarriage?
AThereisnohope,themanisalsolivingwithanotherwoman.
QIsitalsothestandofthepsychiatristthatthepartiesarepsychologicallyunfitforeachotherbuttheyare
psychologicallyfitwithotherparties?
AYes,YourHonor.
QNeitheraretheypsychologicallyunfitfortheirprofessions?
AYes,YourHonor.
TheCourthasnomorequestions.
InthecaseofReynaldo,thereisnoshowingthathisallegedpersonalitytraitswereconstitutiveofpsychological
incapacityexistingatthetimeofmarriagecelebration.Whilesomeeffortwasmadetoprovethattherewasafailureto
fulfill prenuptial 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.Ifatall,itmerelyshowslovestemporaryblindnesstothefaultsandblemishesofthebeloved.
Duringitsdeliberations,theCourtdecidedtogobeyondmerelyrulingonthefactsofthiscasevisavisexisting
lawandjurisprudence.InviewofthenoveltyofArt.36oftheFamilyCodeandthedifficultyexperiencedbymanytrial
courtsininterpretingandapplyingit,theCourtdecidedtoinvitetwoamicicuriae,namely,theMostReverendOscarV.
Cruz,[9]VicarJudicial(PresidingJudge)oftheNationalAppellateMatrimonialTribunaloftheCatholicChurchinthe
Philippines, and Justice Ricardo C. Puno,[10]a member of the Family Code Revision Committee.The Court takes this
occasiontothankthesefriendsoftheCourtfortheirinformativeandinterestingdiscussionsduringtheoralargumenton
December3,1996,whichtheyfollowedupwithwrittenmemoranda.
From their submissions and the Courts own deliberations, the following guidelines in the interpretation and
applicationofArt.36oftheFamilyCodeareherebyhandeddownfortheguidanceofthebenchandthebar:
(1)Theburdenofprooftoshowthenullityofthemarriagebelongstotheplaintiff.Anydoubtshouldberesolvedin
favoroftheexistenceandcontinuationofthemarriageandagainstitsdissolutionandnullity.Thisisrootedinthefact
thatbothourConstitutionandourlawscherishthevalidityofmarriageandunityofthefamily.Thus,ourConstitution
devotesanentireArticleontheFamily,[11]recognizingitasthefoundationofthenation.Itdecreesmarriageaslegally
inviolable, thereby protecting it from dissolution at the whim of the parties.Both the family and marriage are to be
protectedbythestate.
The Family Code[12]echoes this constitutional edict on marriage and the family and emphasizes theirpermanence,
inviolabilityandsolidarity.
(2) Theroot causeof the psychological incapacity must be (a) medically or clinically identified, (b) alleged in the
complaint,(c)sufficientlyprovenbyexpertsand(d)clearlyexplainedinthedecision.Article36oftheFamilyCode
requiresthattheincapacitymustbepsychologicalnotphysical,althoughitsmanifestationsand/orsymptomsmaybe
physical.Theevidencemustconvincethecourtthattheparties,oroneofthem,wasmentallyorpsychicallyilltosuch
anextentthatthepersoncouldnothaveknowntheobligationshewasassuming,orknowingthem,couldnothavegiven
validassumptionthereof.Althoughnoexampleofsuchincapacityneedbegivenheresoasnottolimittheapplicationof
the provision under the principle ofejusdem generis,[13]nevertheless such root cause must be identified as a
psychological illness and its incapacitating nature fully explained.Expert evidence may be given by qualified
psychiatristsandclinicalpsychologists.
(3)Theincapacitymustbeproventobeexistingatthetimeofthecelebrationofthemarriage.Theevidencemustshow
that the illness was existing when the parties exchanged their I dos.The manifestation of the illness need not be
perceivableatsuchtime,buttheillnessitselfmusthaveattachedatsuchmoment,orpriorthereto.
(4)Suchincapacitymustalsobeshowntobemedicallyorclinicallypermanentorincurable.Suchincurabilitymaybe
absolute or even relative only in regard to the other spouse, not necessarily absolutely against everyone of the same

sex.Furthermore,suchincapacitymustberelevanttotheassumptionofmarriageobligations,notnecessarilytothose
notrelatedtomarriage,liketheexerciseofaprofessionoremploymentinajob.Hence,apediatricianmaybeeffective
indiagnosingillnessesofchildrenandprescribingmedicinetocurethembutmaynotbepsychologicallycapacitatedto
procreate,bearandraisehis/herownchildrenasanessentialobligationofmarriage.
(5)Suchillnessmustbegraveenoughtobringaboutthedisabilityofthepartytoassumetheessentialobligationsof
marriage.Thus,mildcharacteriologicalpeculiarities,moodchanges,occasionalemotionaloutburstscannotbeaccepted
asrootcauses.Theillnessmustbeshownasdownrightincapacityorinability,notarefusal,neglectordifficulty,much
lessillwill.Inotherwords,thereisanatalorsuperveningdisablingfactorintheperson,anadverseintegralelementin
thepersonalitystructurethateffectivelyincapacitatesthepersonfromreallyacceptingandtherebycomplyingwiththe
obligationsessentialtomarriage.
(6)TheessentialmaritalobligationsmustbethoseembracedbyArticles68upto71oftheFamilyCodeasregardsthe
husbandandwifeaswellasArticles220,221and225ofthesameCodeinregardtoparentsandtheirchildren.Such
noncompliedmaritalobligation(s)mustalsobestatedinthepetition,provenbyevidenceandincludedinthetextofthe
decision.
(7)Interpretations given by the National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal of the Catholic Church in the Philippines,
whilenotcontrollingordecisive,shouldbegivengreatrespectbyourcourts.ItisclearthatArticle36wastakenbythe
FamilyCodeRevisionCommitteefromCanon1095oftheNewCodeofCanonLaw,whichbecameeffectivein1983
andwhichprovides:
The following are incapable of contracting marriage:Those who are unable to assume the essential obligations of
marriageduetocausesofpsychologicalnature.[14]
SincethepurposeofincludingsuchprovisioninourFamilyCodeistoharmonizeourcivillawswiththereligious
faithofourpeople,itstandstoreasonthattoachievesuchharmonization,greatpersuasiveweightshouldbegivento
decisionsofsuchappellatetribunal.Ideallysubjecttoourlawonevidencewhatisdecreedascanonicallyinvalid
shouldalsobedecreedcivillyvoid.
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
remainingindependent,separateandapartfromeachothershallwalktogetherinsynodalcadencetowardsthesame
goalofprotectingandcherishingmarriageandthefamilyastheinviolablebaseofthenation.
(8)ThetrialcourtmustordertheprosecutingattorneyorfiscalandtheSolicitorGeneraltoappearascounselforthe
state.NodecisionshallbehandeddownunlesstheSolicitorGeneralissuesacertification,whichwillbequotedinthe
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)
daysfromthedatethecaseisdeemedsubmittedforresolutionofthecourt.TheSolicitorGeneralshalldischargethe
equivalentfunctionofthedefensorvinculicontemplatedunderCanon1095.
IntheinstantcaseandapplyingLeouelSantos,wehavealreadyruledtograntthepetition.Suchrulingbecomes
evenmorecogentwiththeuseoftheforegoingguidelines.
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED.The assailed Decision is REVERSED and SET ASIDE.The
marriageofRoridelOlavianotoReynaldoMolinasubsistsandremainsvalid.
SOORDERED.
Narvasa,C.J.,Regalado,Davide,Jr.,Bellosillo,Melo,Puno,Kapunan,Mendoza,Francisco,Hermosisima,Jr.,
andTorres,Jr.,JJ.,concur
Padilla,J.,SeeSeparateStatement.
Romero,J.,SeeSeparateStatement.
Vitug,J.,PleaseseeConcurringopinion.

Rollopp.2533.

[1]

Sixteenth Division composed ofJ.Segundino G. Chua,ponenteand chairmanJJ.Serafin V.C. Guingona and


RicardoP.Galvez,concurring.
[3]
PresidedbyJudgeHeiliaS.MallarePhillipps.
[4]
SolemnizedbyFr.JesusG.Encinas.
[5]
TheCourtofAppealsreproducedinitsDecisionasubstantialportionoftheRTCDecisionasfollows:
Tosustainherclaimthatrespondentispsychologicallyincapacitatedtocomplywithhismaritalobligations,petitioner
testified that he is immature, irresponsible, dependent, disrespectful, arrogant, a chronic liar, and an infidel.These
characteristicsofrespondentarebasedonpetitionerstestimonythattheformerfailedtobegainfullyemployedafterhe
wasrelievedfromtheOfficeoftheGovernmentCorporateCounselsometimeinFebruary,1986,leavingpetitioneras
the sole breadwinner of the family.Also when they were separated in fact, respondent practically abandoned both
petitionermother and son except during the first few months of separation when respondent regularly visited his son
andgavehimamonthlyallowanceofP1,000.00forabouttwotofourmonths.Respondentislikewisedependentonhis
parentsforfinancialaidandsupportashehasnosavings,preferringtospendhismoneywithhisfriendsandpeers.A
year after their marriage, respondent informed petitioner that he bought a house and lot at BF Homes, Paraaque for
aboutamillionpesos.Theythentransferredthereonlyforthepetitionertodiscoverafewmonthslaterthattheywere
actually renting the house with the respondents parents responsible for the payment of the rentals.Aside from this,
respondent would also lie about his salary and ability.And that at present, respondent is living with his mistress and
theirchild,whichfacthedoesnotdeny.
Itisunfortunatethatthemarriagebetweenpetitionerandrespondentturnedsourifwelookatthebackgroundoftheir
relationship. During their college days, when they were still going steady, respondent observed petitioner to be
conservative, homely, and intelligent causing him to believe then that she would make an ideal wife and mother.
Likewise,petitionerfellinlovewithrespondentbecauseofhisthoughtfulnessandgentleness.Afterayear,however,
theydecidedtobreaktheirrelationshipbecauseofsomedifferencesintheirpersonalities.Almostfive(5)yearslater,
whiletheywereworkinginManila,petitionerandrespondentrekindledtheirloveaffair.Theybecameverycloseand
petitioner was glad to observe a more mature respondent. Believing that they knew each other much better after two
years of going steady, they decided to settle down and get married. It would seem, therefore, that petitioner and
respondentkneweachotherwellandwerethenpreparedformarriedlife.
During their marriage, however, the true personalities of the parties croppedup and dominated their life together.
Unexpectedly on both their parts, petitioner and respondent failed to respond properly to the situation. This failure
resulted in their frequent arguments and fightings. In fact, even with the intervention and help of their parents who
arrangedfortheirpossiblereconciliation,thepartiescouldnotcometoterms.
It seems clear at this stage that the marriage between the parties brokeup because of their opposing and conflicting
personalities(sic).Neitherofthemcanacceptandunderstandtheweaknessofeachother.Noonegivesinandinstead,
blame each other for whatever problem or misunderstanding/s they encounter. In fine, respondent cannot solely
responsibleforthefailureofother(sic)marriage.Rather,thisresultedbecausebothpartiescannotrelatetoeachotheras
husbandandwifewhichisuniqueandrequisiteinmarriage.
Marriageisaspecialcontractofpermanentunionbetweenamanandwomanwiththebasicobjectiveofestablishinga
conjugalandfamilylife.(Article1,FamilyCode).Theuniqueelementofpermanencyofunionsignifiesacontinuing,
developing,andlifelongrelationshipbetweentheparties.Towardsthisend,thepartiesmustfullyunderstandandaccept
the(implicationsandconsequencesofbeingpermanently)unitedinmarriage.Andthemaintenanceofthisrelationship
demandsfromtheparties,amongothers,determinationtosucceedintheirmarriageaswellasheartfeltunderstanding,
acceptance,cooperation,andsupportforeachother.Thus,theFamilyCoderequiresthemtolivetogether,toobserve
mutual (love, respect and fidelity, and render mutual help and support. Failure to observe) and perform these
fundamentalrolesofahusbandandawifewillmostlikelyleadtothebreakupofthemarriage.Suchistheunfortunate
situationinthiscase."(Decision,pp.58OriginalRecords,pp.7073)
[6]
240SCRA20,34,January4,1995.
[7]
QuotedfromJusticeAliciaSempioDiy,HandbookontheFamilyCode,FirstEdition,1988.
[8]
TSN,April6,1991,p.5.
[2]

TheNationalAppellateMatrimonialTribunalreviewsalldecisionsofthemarriagetribunalsofeacharchdioceseor
dioceseinthecountry.AsidefromheadingtheAppellateTribunal,Most.Rev.Cruzisalsoincumbentpresidentofthe
CatholicBishop'sConferrenceofthePhilippines,ArchbishopofDagupanLingayen,andholdsthedegreesofDoctorof
CanonLawandDoctorofDivinity.ArchbishopCruzwasalsoSecretaaryGeneraloftheSecondPlenaryCouncilofthe
PhilippinesPCPIIheldfromJanuary20,1991toFebruary17,1991,whichistheroughequivalentofaparliamentor
constitutional convention in the Philippine Church, and where the ponente, who was a council member, had the
privilegeofbeingoverwhelmedbyhiskeenmindandprayerfuldiscernments.
[10]
Justice Puno was a former member of the Court of Appeals, retired Minister of Justice, author, noted civil law
professorandlawpractitioner.
[9]

[11]

ARTICLEXV
THEFAMILY
Section1.TheStaterecognizestheFilipinoFamilyasthefoundationofthenation.Accordingly,itshallstrengthenits
solidarityandactivelypromoteitstotaldevelopment.
Section2.Marriage,asaninviolablesocialinstitution,isthefoundationofthefamilyandshallbeprotectedbythestate.
Section3.Thestateshalldefend
(1)Therightofspousestofoundafamilyinaccordancewiththeirreligiousconvictionsandthedemandsofresponsible
parenthood
(2)The right of children to assistance, including proper care and nutrition, and specialprotection from all forms of
neglect,abuse,cruelty,exploitation,andotherconditionsprejudicialtotheirdevelopment
(3)Therightofthefamilytoafamilylivingwageandincome
(4)The right of families or family associations to participate in the planning and implementation of policies and
programsthataffectthem.
Section4.Thefamilyhasthedutytocareforitselderlymembersbutthestatemayalsodosothroughjustprogramsof
socialsecurity."
[12]
"Art.1.Marriageisaspecialcontractofpermanentunionbetweenamanandawomanenteredintoinaccordance
with law for the establishment of conjugal and family life.It is the foundation of the family and an inviolable social
institution whose nature, consequences, and incidents are governed by law and not subject to stipulation, except that
marriagesettlementsmayfixthepropertyrelationsduringthemarriagewithinthelimitsprovidedbythiscode."
[13]
Salitavs.Magtolis233SCRA100,June13,1994.
[14]
This text is taken from the Memorandum of Archbishop Cruz.On the other hand, the text used un Santosvs. CA
reads:
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3.Whoforcausesofpsychologicalnatureareunabletoassumetheessentialobligationsofmarriage.
ThedifferrenceinwordingbetweenthisandthatinArch.CruzsMemorandumisduetothefactthattheoriginalCanon
iswritteninLatinandbothversionsaredifferentlywordedEnglishtranslations.
LENIO.CHOA,petitioner,vs.ALFONSOC.CHOA,respondent.
DECISION
PANGANIBAN,J.:
Though interlocutory in character, an order denying a demurrer to evidence may be the subject of a certiorari
proceeding,providedthepetitionercanshowthatitwasissuedwithgraveabuseofdiscretionandthatappealindue
course is not plain, adequate or speedy under the circumstances.Indeed, when the plaintiffs evidence is utterly and
patentlyinsufficienttoprovethecomplaint,itwouldbecapriciousforatrialjudgetodenythedemurrerandtorequire
the defendant to present evidence to controvert a nonexisting case.Verily, the denial constitutes an unwelcome
imposition on the courts docket and an assault on the defendants resources and peace of mind.In short, such denial
needlesslydelaysand,thus,effectivelydeniesjustice.
TheCase

BeforeusisaPetitionforReviewonCertiorariunderRule45oftheRulesofCourt,assailingtheMarch16,2000
Decision[1]and the May 22, 2000 Resolution[2]of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CAGR SP No. 53100. The decretal
portionoftheDecisionreadsasfollows:
WHEREFORE,theinstantPetitionisherebyDISMISSEDforlackofmerit.[3]
TheassailedResolutiondeniedpetitionersMotionforReconsideration.[4]
TheFacts
Petitioner and respondent were married on March 15, 1981. Out of this union, two children were born, Cheryl
Lynne and Albryan.On October 27, 1993, respondent filed before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Negros
Occidental,Branch51,aComplaint[5]fortheannulmentofhismarriagetopetitioner.TheComplaintwasdocketedas
Civil Case No. 938098.Afterwards he filed an Amended Complaint[6]dated November 8, 1993 for the declaration of
nullityofhismarriagetopetitionerbasedonherallegedpsychologicalincapacity.
The case went to trial with respondent presenting his evidence in chief. After his last witness testified, he
submittedhisFormalOfferofExhibits[7]datedFebruary20,1998.Insteadofofferinganyobjectiontoit,petitionerfiled
aMotiontoDismiss(DemurrertoEvidence)[8]datedMay11,1998.Thelowercourtthenallowedanumberofpleadingsto
befiledthereafter.
Finally, the RTC issued its December 2, 1998Order[9]denying petitioners Demurrer to Evidence.It held that
[respondent] established a quantum of evidence that the [petitioner] must controvert.[10]After her Motion for
Reconsideration[11]was denied in the March 22, 1999 Order,[12]petitioner elevated the case to the CA by way of a
PetitionforCertiorari,[13]docketedasCAGRNo.53100.
RulingoftheCourtofAppeals
TheCAheldthatthedenialofthedemurrerwasmerelyinterlocutoryhence,certiorariunderRule65oftheRules
ofCourtwasnotavailable.Theproperremedywasforthedefensetopresentevidenceandifanunfavorabledecision
was handed down later, to take an appeal therefrom.[14]In any event, no grave abuse of discretion was committed by
respondentjudgeinissuingtheassailedOrders.[15]
TheCAalsoruledthattheproprietyofgrantingordenyingademurrertoevidencerestsonthesoundexerciseof
the [trial] courts discretion.[16]Further, the [p]etitioner failed to show that the issues in the court below [had] been
resolvedarbitrarilyorwithoutbasis.[17]
Hence,thisPetition.[18]
TheIssues
InherMemorandum,[19]petitionersubmitsthefollowingissuesforourconsideration:
1)UponthedenialofpetitionersdemurrertoevidenceunderRule33ofthe1997RulesofCivilProcedure,issheunder
obligation,asamatterofinflexiblerule,aswhattheCourtofAppealsrequiredofher,topresentherevidence,andwhen
anunfavorable[verdict]ishandeddown,appealtherefrominthemannerauthorizedbylaw,despitethepalpablyand
patentlyweakandgrosslyinsufficientorsoinadequateevidenceoftheprivaterespondentasplaintiffintheannulment
of marriage case, grounded on psychological incapacity under Art. 36 of The Family Code? Or under such
circumstances,cantheextraordinaryremedyofcertioraribedirectlyandimmediatelyresortedtobythepetitionerand
2)Inupholdingthelowercourtsdenialofpetitionersdemurrertoevidence,didtheCourtofAppealswantonlyviolate,
ignore or disregard in a whimsical manner the doctrinal pronouncements of this Court in Molina (G.R. No. 108763,
February13,1997,268SCRA198)andSantos(G.R.No.112019,January14,1995,58SCRA17)?[20]
Simplystated,theissuesare:(1)iscertiorariavailabletocorrectanorderdenyingademurrertoevidence?and(2)
in its denial, did the RTC commit grave abuse of discretion by violating or ignoring the applicable law and
jurisprudence?
TheCourtsRuling
ThePetitionismeritorious.
FirstIssue:
ResorttoCertiorari

Petitioner argues that the RTC denied her Demurrer to Evidence despite the patent weakness and gross
insufficiencyofrespondentsevidence.Thus,shewasentitledtotheimmediaterecourseoftheextraordinaryremedyof
certiorari.EchoingtheCA,respondentcountersthatappealinduecourse,notcertiorari,istheproperremedy.
Weclarify.Ingeneral,interlocutoryordersareneitherappealablenorsubjecttocertiorariproceedings.
However,thisruleisnotabsolute.InTadeov.People,[21]thisCourtdeclaredthatappealnotcertiorariindue
time was indeed the proper remedy,provided there was no grave abuse of discretion or excess of jurisdiction or
oppressiveexerciseofjudicialauthority.
Infact,Rules41and65oftheRulesofCourtexpresslyrecognizethisexceptionandallowcertiorariwhenthe
lowercourtactswithgraveabuseofdiscretionintheissuanceofaninterlocutoryorder.Rule41provides:
Noappealmaybetakenfrom:
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(c)Aninterlocutoryorder
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In all the above instances where the judgment or final order is not appealable, the aggrieved party may file an
appropriatespecialcivilactionunderRule65.[22]
Inturn,Section1ofRule65readsasfollows:
SEC.1.PetitionforcertiorariWhenanytribunal,boardorofficerexercisingjudicialorquasijudicialfunctionshas
acted without or in excess of its or his jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction,andthereisnoappeal,noranyplain,speedy,andadequateremedyintheordinarycourseoflaw,aperson
aggrieved thereby may file a verified petition in the proper court, alleging the facts with certainty and praying that
judgment be rendered annulling or modifying the proceedings of such tribunal, board or officer, and granting such
incidentalreliefsaslawandjusticemayrequire.[23]
Thus, a denial of a demurrer that is tainted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction may be assailed through a petition for certiorari.[24]InCruz v. People, this exception was stressed by the
Courtinthiswise:
Admittedly,thegeneralrulethattheextraordinarywritofcertiorariisnotavailabletochallengeinterlocutoryordersof
thetrialcourtmaybesubjecttoexceptions.Whentheassailedinterlocutoryordersarepatentlyerroneousorissuedwith
graveabuseofdiscretion,theremedyofcertiorarilies.[25]
SecondIssue:
DenialofDemurrertoEvidence
Havingestablishedthatawritofcertiorarimaybeissuedinexceptionalcircumstances,thisCourtisnowtaskedto
determinewhetherthepresentcasefallsundertheexceptionthatis,whethertheRTCindeedcommittedapatenterror
orgraveabuseofdiscretionindenyingpetitionersDemurrertoEvidence.
Ademurrertoevidenceisdefinedasanobjectionorexceptionbyoneofthepartiesinanactionatlaw,tothe
effectthattheevidencewhichhisadversaryproducedisinsufficientinpointoflaw(whethertrueornot)tomakeouthis
caseorsustaintheissue.[26]Thedemurrerchallengesthesufficiencyoftheplaintiffsevidencetosustainaverdict.[27]In
passinguponthesufficiencyoftheevidenceraisedinademurrer,thecourtismerelyrequiredtoascertainwhetherthere
iscompetentorsufficientprooftosustaintheindictmentortosupportaverdictofguilt.[28]
We have thoroughly reviewed the records of the present case, and we are convinced that the evidence against
respondent (herein petitioner) is grossly insufficient to support any finding of psychological incapacity that would
warrantadeclarationofnullityofthepartiesmarriage.
First.Respondent claims that the filing by petitioner of a series of charges against him are proof of the latters
psychologicalincapacitytocomplywiththeessentialobligationsofmarriage.ThesechargesincludedComplaintsfor
perjury,[29]falsetestimony,[30]concubinage[31]anddeportation.[32]Accordingtohim,thefilingandtheprosecutionofthese
casesclearlyshowedthathiswife(hereinpetitioner)wantednotonlytoputhimbehindbars,butalsotobanishhim
fromthecountry.Hecontendsthatthisisveryabnormalforawifewho,insteadofprotectingthenameandintegrityof
herhusbandasthefatherofherchildren,hadactedtothecontrary.[33]

We do not agree.The documents presented by respondent during the trial do not in any way show the alleged
psychological incapacity of his wife.It is the height of absurdity and inequity to condemn her as psychologically
incapacitatedtofulfillhermaritalobligations,simplybecauseshefiledcasesagainsthim.Theevidencepresented,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.
Second.Neitheristhetestimonyofrespondent,takenbyitselforinconjunctionwithhisdocumentaryofferings,
sufficienttoprovepetitionersallegedpsychologicalincapacity.Hetestifiedinthesewords:
QWill you please tell us or explain to the Court what do you mean by psychologically incapacitated to
complywiththeessentialobligationsofmarriage.Whatdoyoumeanbythat?
ABecausebeforeourmarriageshewasalreadyonthefamilyway,soatthattimesheevenwantitaborted
by taking pills. She was even immature, carefree, and she lacked the intention of procreative
sexuality.[34]
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ATTY.CHUA:
And you consider her that she was carefree, she is psychologically incapacitated? Will you please
elaborateonthiswhatyoumeanbycarefreeapproximatingpsychologicallyincapacitated?
ATTY.MIRANO:
Ithinkwebetteraskthewitnesswhathemeansbycarefree.
ATTY.CHUA:
Okay.
COURT:
Witnessmayanswer.
WITNESS:
Shedoesnothelpinthehouseholdchores,shedoesnottakecareofthechild,shewantsmetohirean
attendantinordertotakecareofthechild.Evenwhenthechildrenweresickshedoesnotbothertolet
thechildrenseeadoctor.[35]
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STENOGRAPHER(readsbackthequestionofAtty.Chua):
ATTY.CHUA:
Now.Fromthetimeofcourtshipuptothetimeofyourmarriagetothedefendant,didyounoticeany
characteristicortraitswhichyouconsideraspsychologicalincapacity?
WITNESS:
SometimeswhenIcannotvisitatherhouseshegetsmadatme,andshewonttalktomewhenIcall
herupbytelephone.So,allshewantedformetovisithereverytimeandevenatthetimewhenIam
busywithsomeotherthings.So,Ithinkthatisall.[36]
Even if taken as true, the testimony of respondent basically complains about three aspects of petitioners
personality namely, her alleged (1) lack of attention to their children, (2) immaturity and (3) lack of an intention of
procreativesexuality.Noneofthesethree,singlyorcollectively,constitutespsychologicalincapacity.Farfromit.
InSantosv.CA,[37]thisCourtclearlyexplainedthatpsychologicalincapacitymustbecharacterizedby(a)gravity,
(b)juridicalantecedenceand(c)incurability.[38]SaidtheCourt:
Itshouldbeobvious,lookingatalltheforegoingdisquisitions,including,andmostimportantly,thedeliberationsofthe
FamilyCodeRevisionCommitteeitself,thattheuseofthephrasepsychologicalincapacityunderArticle36oftheCode
hasnotbeenmeanttocomprehendallsuchpossiblecasesofpsychosesas,likewisementionedbysomeecclesiastical
authorities, extremely low intelligence, immaturity, and like circumstances (cited in Fr. Artemio Baluma's Void and
Voidable Marriages in the Family Code and their Parallels in Canon Law, quoting from the Diagnostic Statistical
Manual of Mental Disorder by the American Psychiatric Association Edward Hudson's Handbook II for Marriage

Nullity Cases). Article 36 of the Family Code cannot be taken and construed independently of but must stand in
conjunctionwith,existingpreceptsinourlawonmarriage.Thuscorrelated,psychologicalincapacityshouldrefertono
lessthanamental(notphysical)incapacitythatcausesapartytobetrulyincognitiveofthebasicmaritalcovenantsthat
concomitantlymustbeassumedanddischargedbythepartiestothemarriagewhich,assoexpressedbyArticle68of
theFamilyCode,includetheirmutualobligationstolivetogether,observelove,respectandfidelityandrenderhelpand
support. There is hardly any doubt that the intendment of the law has been to confine the meaning of psychological
incapacitytothemostseriouscasesofpersonalitydisordersclearlydemonstrativeofanutterinsensitivityorinabilityto
give meaning and significance to the marriage. This psychologic condition must exist at the time the marriage is
celebrated.[39]
Furthermore, inRepublic v. Molina,[40]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
irreconcilabledifferencesandconflictingpersonalitiesinnowiseconstitutespsychologicalincapacity.
Inthecaseatbar,theevidenceadducedbyrespondentmerelyshowsthatheandhiswifecouldnotgetalongwith
each other.There was absolutely no showing of the gravity or juridical antecedence or incurability of the problems
besettingtheirmaritalunion.
Sorelylackinginrespondentsevidenceisproofthatthepsychologicalincapacitywasgraveenoughtobringabout
the disability of a party to assume the essential obligations of marriage. InMolina, we affirmed that mild
characterologicalpeculiarities,moodchangesandoccasionalemotionaloutburstscannotbeacceptedasrootcausesof
psychological incapacity.The illness must be shown as downright incapacity or inability, not a refusal, neglect or
difficulty,muchlessillwill.Inotherwords,thereshouldbeanatalorsuperveningdisablingfactorintheperson,an
adverseintegralelementinthepersonalitystructurethateffectivelyincapacitatesthepersonfromreallyacceptingand
therebycomplyingwiththeobligationsessentialtomarriage.[41]
Respondentspiousperorationthatpetitionerlackedtheintentionofprocreativesexualityiseasilybeliedbythe
factthattwochildrenwerebornduringtheirunion.Moreover,thereisabsolutelynoshowingthattheallegeddefectwas
alreadyexistingatthetimeofthecelebrationofthemarriage.
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 theroot causeof the alleged
psychologicalincapacity.Specifically,histestimonydidnotshowthattheincapacity,iftrue,wasmedicallyorclinically
permanent or incurable.Neither did he testify that it was grave enough to bring about the disability of the party to
assumetheessentialobligationsofmarriage.Thepertinentportionsofhistestimonyarequotedthus:
ATTY.CHUA:
And then finally and ultimately you reached the conclusion that both parties, meaning the husband
andthewifeinthepresentcasehaveapersonalitywhichisnormal.Thatisyourconclusion?
WITNESS:
Theyarenormal,buttheycannotmixtogether.
Q.So as a general proposition, both of them are of normal personality, only that they are not compatible
witheachother?
A.Yes.
Q.And by normal personality, you mean that neither of them suffer from any personality disorder,
borderingonabnormality?
A.Yes.
Q.ButDoctor,isnotafactorafactoflife,thatnocouplecouldbeorareperfectlymatch?
A.Precisely,ifthereisaproblem,maritalproblem,thereshouldbesomebodywhoknowshowtohandle
marriage,thatshouldtrytointervene.
Q.Youmeanexpertadviseorservicesshouldbeneededbythecouple?
A.Yes.
Q.Now,ifthecouplearematureenoughandeachofthempractiseswhatwecallmaximumtoleranceand
giveandtake,willthatservethepurpose?

A.Thatwouldservedthepurposeofgettingwell.
Q.Yes?
A.Yes.
Q.Meaningtosaythattheincompatibilitycouldbeharmonized?
A.Yes, because they are supposedly normal, but both of them are personally disordered.It cannot be
harmonized.So this case, if only they have tried professional help to take care of their marital
problem,itcouldhavebeensolved.
Q.Orthesituationcouldhavebeenremedied?
A.Yes.ButIwouldliketosaythatitmustbesomebodywhoisanexpert.NotjustanyfromTom,Dickand
Harrycouldhandlethis.Thatmeansfromtheverybeginningtheyhavepersonalitieswhichtheywere
incompatible.Soifanybodywouldhandlethat,theywillnotmix,theywillbealwaysquarrelingwith
eachother.Theyshouldnothavegotmarried.[42]
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Q.Yes.Sointhispresentcase,yourexpertopinionwassoughtbytheplaintiff,andyoufoundoutthatboth
arenormal?
A.Withdifferentpersonalities.Sothattheywereincompatible.
Q.Normal,simplyincompatible.
A.Yes,withpersonalitiesdifferentfromeachother,whichImentionedthereinmylastpage.Thattheyare
likeoilandwater,immiscible.Likeoilandwater,theywillnotmix.
Q.Youalsomentionedthattheplaintiff.Meaningtosaythehusbandtoldyouaboutthefrequentquarrels
hadwiththewife.Didheevertellyouthatwasaseriousormajorquarrel?
A.Actuallytherewasnomajorquarrel.Itwasallpettyquarrels.[43]
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Q.Sotheproblemofthiscoupleisfundamentallyaconflictingpersonalities?
A.Yes.[44]
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Q.Now,youmentionedthatyoumaybeabletomakethemreconcile?
A.Yes.
Q.Youmeanthatgiventhetimeandopportunity,thingscouldbeworkedout?
A.Yes.
Q.You mean reconciliation at this stage with expert services, and the advise of those who possess the
necessary[expertise]couldbeworkedout?
A.Yes,asIsaiditcanbedonebytherapy.Familytherapy.[45]
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Q.Doctor,youdrawyourconclusionthatthereispsychologicalinc[a]pacityexistinginthiscase?
A.Yes.
Q.Becauseofthe
A.Theincompatibility.
Q.Incompatibility.
A.Yes.[46]
Histestimonyestablishedmerelythatthespouseshadanincompatibility,adefectthatcouldpossiblybetreatedor
alleviatedthroughpsychotherapy.Weneednotexpoundfurtheronthepatentinsufficiencyoftheexperttestimonyto
establishthepsychologicalincapacityofpetitioner.
Furthermore,theassessmentofpetitionerbyDr.Gauzonwasbasedmerelyondescriptionscommunicatedtohim
by respondent.The doctor never conducted any psychological examination of her.Neither did he ever claim to have

doneso.Infact,hisProfessionalOpinion[47]beganwiththestatement[I]fwhatAlfonsoChoasaidabouthiswifeLeniis
true,xxx.[48]Theexpertwitnesstestifiedthus:
ATTY.CHUA
QDoctor,inthisprofessionalopinionofyours,yougatheredmostofyourmaterialdatafromtheplaintiff
whoisthehusband?
WITNESS
AYes. By the way, I requested the husband Alfonso, if it was possible for me to interview Leni, and he
said,hedoesntknow.
ATTY.CHUA
QHe doesnt know. Now, Doctor if we were to request you to conduct the same personal interview and
writtenpsychologicalexaminationonthepartofthewife,[w]ouldyoubewillingtodothat?
WITNESS
ASureforafee.Imaybeabletomakethemreconcile.[49]
Obviously,Dr.Gauzonhadnopersonalknowledgeofthefactshetestifiedto,asthesehadmerelybeenrelayedto
him by respondent.The former was working on pure suppositions and secondhand information fed to him by one
side.Consequently,histestimonycanbedismissedasunscientificandunreliable.
Dr. Gauzon tried to save his credibility by asserting that he was able to assess petitioners character, not only
through the descriptions given by respondent, but also through the formers at least fifteen hours[50]of study of the
voluminoustranscriptofrecordsofthiscase.Evenifittookthegooddoctorawholedayorawholeweektoexamine
the records of this case, we still find his assessment of petitioners psychological state sorely insufficient and
methodologicallyflawed.
As to respondents argument that because Dr. Gauzons testimony had never been objected to, the objection
raised thereafter was deemed waived the Supreme Court has already ruled on the matter.It held that although the
question of admissibility of evidence could not be raised for the first time on appeal, hearsay or unreliable evidence
shouldbedisregardedwhetherobjectedtoornot,becauseithasnoprobativevalue.[51]
Weare,ofcourse,mindfuloftherulingthatamedicalexaminationisnotaconditiosinequanontoafindingof
psychological incapacity, so long as the totality of evidence presented is enough to establish the incapacity
adequately.[52]Here,however,thetotalityofevidencepresentedbyrespondentwascompletelyinsufficienttosustaina
findingofpsychologicalincapacitymoresowithoutanymedical,psychiatricorpsychologicalexamination.
The trial court should have carefully studied and assessed the evidence presented by respondent and taken into
accounttheprevailingjurisprudenceonthematter.Itcouldthenhaveeasilyconcluded,asweconcludenow,thatitwas
uselesstoproceedfurtherwiththetediousprocessofhearingcontraveningproof.Hisevidencewasobviously,grossly
andclearlyinsufficienttosupportadeclarationofnullityofmarriagebasedonpsychologicalincapacity.Withal,itwas
graveabuseofdiscretionfortheRTCtodenytheDemurrerandtoviolateorignorethisCourtsrulingsinpoint.Indeed,
continuingtheprocessoflitigationwouldhavebeenatotalwasteoftimeandmoneyforthepartiesandanunwelcome
impositiononthetrialcourtsdocket.
We have already ruled that grave abuse of discretion may arise when a lower court or tribunal violates or
contravenes the Constitution, the law or existing jurisprudence.[53]Any decision, order or resolution of a lower court
tantamount to overruling a judicial pronouncement of the highest Court is unmistakably a very grave abuse of
discretion.[54]
Thereisnoreasontobelievethatanappealwouldprovetobeaplain,speedyoradequateremedyinthecaseat
bar. An appeal would not promptly relieve petitioner from the injurious effects of the patently mistaken Orders
maintaining the baseless action of respondent.It would only compel her to go needlessly through a protracted trial,
whichwouldfurtherclogthecourtdocketswithanotherfutilecase.[55]
WHEREFORE, the Petition is herebyGRANTEDand the assailed CA DecisionREVERSEDandSET
ASIDE.RespondentsDemurrertoEvidenceisGRANTED,andthecasefordeclarationofnullityofmarriagebasedon
theallegedpsychologicalincapacityofpetitionerisDISMISSED.Nopronouncementastocosts.
SOORDERED.


CHIMINGTSOI,petitioner,vs.COURTOFAPPEALSandGINALAOTSOI,respondents.
DECISION
TORRES,JR.,J.:
Manhasnotinventedareliablecompassbywhichtosteeramarriageinitsjourneyovertroubledwaters.Laws
are seemingly inadequate.Over time, much reliance has been placed in the works of the unseen hand of Him who
createdallthings.
Whoistoblamewhenamarriagefails?
This case was originally commenced by a distraught wife against her uncaring husband in the Regional Trial
Court of Quezon City (Branch 89) which decreed the annulment of the marriage on the ground of psychological
incapacity.PetitionerappealedthedecisionofthetrialcourttorespondentCourtofAppeals(CAG.R.CVNo.42758)
which affirmed the Trial Court's decision on November 29, 1994 and correspondingly denied the motion for
reconsiderationinaresolutiondatedFebruary14,1995.
ThestatementofthecaseandofthefactsmadebythetrialcourtandreproducedbytheCourtofAppeals[1]inits
decisionareasfollows:
"Fromtheevidenceadduced,thefollowingfactswerepreponderantlyestablished:
"Sometime on May 22, 1988, the plaintiff married the defendant at the Manila Cathedral, xxx Intramuros Manila, as
evidencedbytheirMarriageContract.(Exh."A")
"AfterthecelebrationoftheirmarriageandweddingreceptionattheSouthVilla,Makati,theywentandproceededto
thehouseofdefendant'smother.
"There,theyslepttogetheronthesamebedinthesameroomforthefirstnightoftheirmarriedlife.
"It is the version of the plaintiff, that contrary to her expectations, that as newlyweds they were supposed to enjoy
makinglove,orhavingsexualintercourse,witheachother,thedefendantjustwenttobed,sleptononesidethereof,
thenturnedhisbackandwenttosleep.Therewasnosexualintercoursebetweenthemduringthefirstnight.Thesame
thinghappenedonthesecond,thirdandfourthnights.
"In an effort to have their honeymoon in a private place where they can enjoy together during their first week as
husbandandwife,theywenttoBaguioCity.But,theydidsotogetherwithhermother,anuncle,hismotherandhis
nephew.Theywereallinvitedbythedefendanttojointhem.[T]heystayedinBaguioCityforfour(4)days.But,during
thisperiod,therewasnosexualintercoursebetweenthem,sincethedefendantavoidedherbytakingalongwalkduring
siestatimeorbyjustsleepingonarockingchairlocatedatthelivingroom.Theyslepttogetherinthesameroomandon
the same bed since May 22, 1988 until March 15, 1989. But during this period, there was no attempt of sexual
intercoursebetweenthem.[S]heclaims,thatshedidnotevenseeherhusband'sprivatepartsnordidheseehers.
"Because of this, they submitted themselves for medical examinations to Dr. Eufemio Macalalag, a urologist at the
ChineseGeneralHospital,onJanuary20,1989.
Theresultsoftheirphysicalexaminationswerethatsheishealthy,normalandstillavirgin,whilethatofherhusbands
examination was kept confidential up to this time. While no medicine was prescribed for her, the doctor prescribed
medicationsforherhusbandwhichwasalsokeptconfidential.Notreatmentwasgiventoher.Forherhusband,hewas
askedbythedoctortoreturnbutheneverdid.
"Theplaintiffclaims,thatthedefendantisimpotent,aclosethomosexualashedidnotshowhispenis.Shesaid,thatshe
had observed the defendant using an eyebrow pencil and sometimes the cleansing cream of his mother. And that,
according to her, the defendant married her, a Filipino citizen, to acquire or maintain his residency status here in the
countryandtopubliclymaintaintheappearanceofanormalman.
"Theplaintiffisnotwillingtoreconcilewithherhusband.
"Ontheotherhand,itistheclaimofthedefendantthatiftheirmarriageshallbeannulledbyreasonofpsychological
incapacity,thefaultlieswithhiswife.
"But,hesaidthathedoesnotwanthismarriagewithhiswifeannulledforseveralreasons,viz:(1)thatheloveshervery
much (2) that he has no defect on his part and he is physically and psychologically capable and, (3) since the
relationshipisstillveryyoungandifthereisanydifferencesbetweenthetwoofthem,itcanstillbereconciledandthat,

according to him, if either one of them has some incapabilities, there is no certainty that this will not be cured. He
furtherclaims,thatifthereisanydefect,itcanbecuredbytheinterventionofmedicaltechnologyorscienceK
"ThedefendantadmittedthatsincetheirmarriageonMay22,1988,untiltheirseparationonMarch15,1989,therewas
no sexual contact between them. But, the reason forthis, according to the defendant, was that everytime he wants to
havesexualintercoursewithhiswife,shealwaysavoidedhimandwheneverhecaressesherprivateparts,shealways
removedhishands.Thedefendantclaims,thatheforcedhiswifetohavesexwithhimonlyoncebuthedidnotcontinue
becauseshewasshakingandshedidnotlikeit.Sohestopped.
"Therearetwo(2)reasons,accordingtothedefendant,whytheplaintifffiledthiscaseagainsthim,andtheseare:(1)
that she is afraid that she will be forced to return the pieces of jewelry of his mother, and, (2) that her husband, the
defendant,willconsummatetheirmarriage.
"Thedefendantinsistedthattheirmarriagewillremainvalidbecausetheyarestillveryyoungandthereisstillachance
toovercometheirdifferences.
"Thedefendantsubmittedhimselftoaphysicalexamination.HispeniswasexaminedbyDr.SergioAlteza,Jr.,forthe
purposeoffindingoutwhetherheisimpotent.Asaresultthereof,Dr.AltezasubmittedhisDoctor'sMedicalReport.
(Exh."2").Itisstatedthere,thatthereisnoevidenceofimpotency(Exh."2B"),andheiscapableoferection.(Exh."2
C")
"Thedoctorsaid,thatheaskedthedefendanttomasturbatetofindoutwhetherornothehasanerectionandhefound
outthatfromtheoriginalsizeoftwo(2)inches,orfive(5)centimeters,thepenisofthedefendantlengthenedbyone(1)
inchandonecentimeter.Dr.Altezasaid,thatthedefendanthadonlyasofterectionwhichiswhyhispenisisnotinits
full length. But, still is capable of further erection, in that with his soft erection, the defendant is capable of having
sexualintercoursewithawoman.
"InopenCourt,theTrialProsecutormanifestedthatthereisnocollusionbetweenthepartiesandthattheevidenceisnot
fabricated.[2]
Aftertrial,thecourtrenderedjudgment,thedispositiveportionofwhichreads:
"ACCORDINGLY,judgmentisherebyrendereddeclaringasVOIDthemarriageenteredintobytheplaintiffwiththe
defendantonMay22,1988attheManilaCathedral,BasilicaoftheImmaculateConception,Intramuros,Manila,before
theRt.Rev.Msgr.MelenciodeVera.Withoutcosts.LetacopyofthisdecisionbefurnishedtheLocalCivilRegistrar
ofQuezonCity.LetanothercopybefurnishedtheLocalCivilRegistrarofManila.
"SOORDERED."
Onappeal,theCourtofAppealsaffirmedthetrialcourt'sdecision.
Hence,theinstantpetition.
PetitionerallegesthattherespondentCourtofAppealserred:
I
inaffirmingtheconclusionsofthelowercourtthattherewasnosexualintercoursebetweenthepartieswithoutmaking
anyfindingsoffact.
II
inholdingthattherefusalofprivaterespondenttohavesexualcommunionwithpetitionerisapsychologicalincapacity
inasmuchasproofthereofistotallyabsent.
III
in holding that the alleged refusal of both the petitioner and the private respondent to have sex with each other
constitutespsychologicalincapacityofboth.
IV
inaffirmingtheannulmentofthemarriagebetweenthepartiesdecreedbythelowercourtwithoutfullysatisfyingitself
thattherewasnocollusionbetweenthem.
Wefindthepetitiontobebereftofmerit.
Petitioner contends that being the plaintiff in Civil Case No. Q893141, private respondent has the burden of
proving the allegations in her complaint that since there was no independent evidence to prove the allegednon

coitusbetweentheparties,thereremainsnootherbasisforthecourt'sconclusionexcepttheadmissionofpetitionerthat
publicpolicyshouldaidactsintendedtovalidatemarriageandshouldretardactsintendedtoinvalidatethemthatthe
conclusiondrawnbythetrialcourtontheadmissionsandconfessionsofthepartiesintheirpleadingsandinthecourse
ofthetrialismisplacedsinceitcouldhavebeenaproductofcollusionandthatinactionsforannulmentofmarriage,
thematerialfactsallegedinthecomplaintshallalwaysbeproved.[3]
Section1,Rule19oftheRulesofCourtreads:
"Section 1.Judgment on the pleadings.Where an answer fails to tender an issue, or otherwise admits the material
allegationsoftheadverseparty'spleading,thecourtmay,onmotionofthatparty,directjudgmentonsuchpleading.But
inactionsforannulmentofmarriageorforlegalseparationthematerialfactsallegedinthecomplaintshallalwaysbe
proved."
The foregoing provision pertains to a judgment on the pleadings. What said provision seeks to prevent is
annulmentofmarriagewithouttrial.Theassaileddecisionwasnotbasedonsuchajudgmentonthepleadings.When
privaterespondenttestifiedunderoathbeforethetrialcourtandwascrossexaminedbyoathbeforethetrialcourtand
wascrossexaminedbytheadverseparty,shetherebypresentedevidenceintheformofatestimony.Aftersuchevidence
waspresented,itbecameincumbentuponpetitionertopresenthisside.HeadmittedthatsincetheirmarriageonMay
22,1988,untiltheirseparationonMarch15,1989,therewasnosexualintercoursebetweenthem.
Topreventcollusionbetweenthepartiesisthereasonwhy,asstatedbythepetitioner,theCivilCodeprovides
thatnojudgmentannullingamarriageshallbepromulgateduponastipulationoffactsorbyconfessionofjudgment
(Arts.88and101[par.2])andtheRulesofCourtprohibitsuchannulmentwithouttrial(Sec.1,Rule19).
ThecasehasreachedthisCourtbecausepetitionerdoesnotwanttheirmarriagetobeannulled.Thisonlyshows
thatthereisnocollusionbetweentheparties.Whenpetitioneradmittedthatheandhiswife(privaterespondent)have
never had sexual contact with each other, he must have been only telling the truth. We are reproducing the relevant
portionofthechallengedresolutiondenyingpetitioner'sMotionforReconsideration,pennedwithmagisteriallucidity
byAssociateJusticeMinervaGonzagaReyes,viz:
"ThejudgmentofthetrialcourtwhichwasaffirmedbythisCourtisnotbasedonastipulationoffacts.Theissueof
whetherornottheappellantispsychologicallyincapacitatedtodischargeabasicmaritalobligationwasresolvedupona
review of both the documentary and testimonial evidence on record. Appellant admitted that he did not have sexual
relationswithhiswifeafteralmosttenmonthsofcohabitation,anditappearsthatheisnotsufferingfromanyphysical
disability. Such abnormal reluctance or unwillingness to consummate his marriage is strongly indicative of a serious
personality disorder which to the mind of this Court clearly demonstrates an 'utter insensitivity or inability to give
meaningandsignificancetothemarriage'withinthemeaningofArticle36oftheFamilyCode(SeeSantosvs.Courtof
Appeals,G.R.No.112019,January4,1995)."[4]
Petitionerfurthercontendsthatrespondentcourterredinholdingthattheallegedrefusalofboththepetitionerand
theprivaterespondenttohavesexwitheachotherconstitutespsychologicalincapacityofboth.Hepointsoutaserror
thefailureofthetrialcourttomake"acategoricalfindingabouttheallegedpsychologicalincapacityandanindepth
analysis of the reasons for such refusal which may not be necessarily due to psychological disorders" because there
might have been other reasons, i.e., physical disorders, such as aches, pains or other discomforts, why private
respondent would not want to have sexual intercourse from May 22, 1988 to March 15, 1989, in a short span of 10
months.
First, it must be stated that neither the trial court nor the respondent court made a finding on who between
petitionerandprivaterespondentrefusestohavesexualcontactwiththeother.Thefactremains,however,thattherehas
neverbeencoitusbetweenthem.Atanyrate,sincetheactiontodeclarethemarriagevoidmaybefiledbyeitherparty,
i.e.,eventhepsychologicallyincapacitated,thequestionofwhorefusestohavesexwiththeotherbecomesimmaterial.
Petitionerclaimsthatthereisnoindependentevidenceonrecordtoshowthatanyofthepartiesissufferingfrom
psychologicalincapacity.Petitioneralsoclaimsthathewantedtohavesexwithprivaterespondentthatthereasonfor
privaterespondent'srefusalmaynotbepsychologicalbutphysicaldisorderasstatedabove.
Wedonotagree.Assumingittobeso,petitionercouldhavediscussedwithprivaterespondentoraskedherwhat
isailingher,andwhyshebalksandavoidshimeverytimehewantedtohavesexualintercoursewithher.Heneverdid.
Atleast,thereisnothingintherecordtoshowthathehadtriedtofindoutordiscoverwhattheproblemwithhiswife
couldbe.Whathepresentedinevidenceishisdoctor'sMedicalReportthatthereisnoevidenceofhisimpotencyandhe

iscapableoferection.[5]Sinceitispetitioner'sclaimthatthereasonisnotpsychologicalbutperhapsphysicaldisorderon
thepartofprivaterespondent,itbecameincumbentuponhimtoprovesuchaclaim.
"Ifaspouse,althoughphysicallycapablebutsimplyrefusestoperformhisorheressentialmarriageobligations,andthe
refusal is senseless and constant, Catholic marriage tribunals attribute the causes to psychological incapacity than to
stubbornrefusal.Senselessandprotractedrefusalisequivalenttopsychologicalincapacity.Thus,theprolongedrefusal
ofaspousetohavesexualintercoursewithhisorherspouseisconsideredasignofpsychologicalincapacity."[6]
Evidently,oneoftheessentialmaritalobligationsundertheFamilyCodeis"Toprocreatechildrenbasedonthe
universalprinciplethatprocreationofchildrenthroughsexualcooperationisthebasicendofmarriage."Constantnon
fulfillment of this obligation will finally destroy the integrity or wholeness of the marriage.In the case at bar, the
senselessandprotractedrefusalofoneofthepartiestofulfilltheabovemaritalobligationisequivalenttopsychological
incapacity.
Asaptlystatedbytherespondentcourt,
"AnexaminationoftheevidenceconvincesUsthatthehusband'spleathatthewifedidnotwantcarnalintercoursewith
himdoesnotinspirebelief.Sincehewasnotphysicallyimpotent,butherefrainedfromsexualintercourseduringthe
entiretime(fromMay22,1988toMarch15,1989)thatheoccupiedthesamebedwithhiswife,purelyoutofsympathy
for her feelings, he deserves to be doubted for not having asserted his rights even though she balked (Tompkins vs.
Tompkins, 111 Atl. 599, cited in I Paras, Civil Code, at p. 330). Besides, if it were true that it is the wife who was
suffering from incapacity, the fact that defendant did not go to court and seek the declaration of nullity weakens his
claim.Thiscasewasinstitutedbythewifewhosenormalexpectationsofhermarriagewerefrustratedbyherhusband's
inadequacy. Considering the innate modesty of the Filipino woman, it is hard to believe that she would expose her
privatelifetopublicscrutinyandfabricatetestimonyagainstherhusbandifitwerenotnecessarytoputherlifeinorder
andputtoresthermaritalstatus.
"Wearenotimpressedbydefendant'sclaimthatwhattheevidenceprovedistheunwillingnessorlackofintentionto
performthesexualact,whichisnotpsychologicalincapacity,andwhichcanbeachieved"throughpropermotivation."
Afteralmosttenmonthsofcohabitation,theadmissionthatthehusbandisreluctantorunwillingtoperformthesexual
actwithhiswifewhomheprofessestoloveverydearly,andwhohasnotposedanyinsurmountableresistancetohis
alleged approaches, is indicative of a hopeless situation, and of a serious personality disorder that constitutes
psychologicalincapacitytodischargethebasicmaritalcovenantswithinthecontemplationoftheFamilyCode.[7]
Whilethelawprovidesthatthehusbandandthewifeareobligedtolivetogether,observemutuallove,respect
and fidelity (Art. 68, Family Code), the sanction therefor is actually the "spontaneous, mutual affection between
husbandandwifeandnotanylegalmandateorcourtorder"(Cuadernovs.Cuaderno,120Phil.1298).Loveisuseless
unlessitissharedwithanother.Indeed,nomanisanisland,thecruelestactofapartnerinmarriageistosay"Icould
nothavecaredless."Thisissobecauseanungivenselfisanunfulfilledself.Theegoisthasnothingbuthimself.Inthe
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
continuationoffamilyrelations.
Itappearsthatthereisabsenceofempathybetweenpetitionerandprivaterespondent.Thatisasharedfeeling
whichbetweenhusbandandwifemustbeexperiencednotonlybyhavingspontaneoussexualintimacybutadeepsense
ofspiritualcommunion.Maritalunionisatwowayprocess.Anexpressiveinterestineachother'sfeelingsatatimeitis
neededbytheothercangoalongwayindeepeningthemaritalrelationship.Marriageisdefinitelynotforchildrenbut
fortwoconsentingadultswhoviewtherelationshipwithloveamorgignitamorem,respect,sacrificeandacontinuing
commitmenttocompromise,consciousofitsvalueasasublimesocialinstitution.
ThisCourt,findingthegravityofthefailedrelationshipinwhichthepartiesfoundthemselvestrappedinitsmire
of unfulfilled vows and unconsummated marital obligations, can do no less but sustain the studied judgment of
respondentappellatecourt.
INVIEWOFTHEFOREGOINGPREMISES,theassaileddecisionoftheCourtofAppealsdatedNovember
29,1994isherebyAFFIRMEDinallrespectsandthepetitionisherebyDENIEDforlackofmerit.
SOORDERED.
Regalado,(Chairman),Romero,Puno,andMendoza,JJ.,concur.

BRENDAB.MARCOS,petitioner,vs.WILSONG.MARCOS,respondent.
DECISION
PANGANIBAN,J.:
Psychologicalincapacity,asagroundfordeclaringthenullityofamarriage,maybeestablishedbythetotalityof
evidence presented.There is no requirement, however, that the respondent should be examined by a physician or a
psychologistasaconditiosinequanonforsuchdeclaration.
TheCase

"The'strawthatbrokethecamel'sback'tookplaceonOctober16,1994,whentheyhadabitterquarrel.Astheywere
alreadylivingseparately,shedidnotwanthimtostayintheirhouseanymore.Onthatday,whenshesawhimintheir
house,shewassoangrythatshelambastedhim.Hethenturnedviolent,inflictingphysicalharmonherandevenonher
mother who came to her aid.The following day, October 17, 1994, she and their children left the house and sought
refugeinhersister'shouse.
"OnOctober19,1994,shesubmittedherself[to]medicalexaminationattheMandaluyongMedicalCenterwhereher
injurieswerediagnosedascontusions(Exh.G,Records,153).
"SometimeinAugust1995,shetogetherwithhertwosistersanddriver,wenttohimattheBlissunitinMandaluyongto
look for their missing child, Niko.Upon seeing them, he got mad.After knowing the reason for their unexpected
presence,heranafterthemwithasamuraiandeven[beat]herdriver.
"At the time of the filing of this case, she and their children were renting a house in Camella, Paraaque, while the
appellantwasresidingattheBlissunitinMandaluyong.
"In the case study conducted by Social Worker Sonia C. Millan, the children described their father as cruel and
physicallyabusivetothem(Exh.UU,Records,pp.85100).
"The appellee submitted herself to psychologist Natividad A. Dayan, Ph.D., for psychological evaluation (Exh. YY,
Records,pp.207216),whiletheappellantontheotherhand,didnot.
"The courta quofound the appellant to be psychologically incapacitated to perform his marital obligations mainly
becauseofhisfailuretofindworktosupporthisfamilyandhisviolentattitudetowardsappelleeandtheirchildren,xx
x."[3]

BeforeusisaPetitionforReviewonCertiorariunderRule45oftheRulesofCourt,assailingtheJuly24,1998
Decision[1]oftheCourtofAppeals(CA)inCAGRCVNo.55588,whichdisposedasfollows:
"WHEREFORE,thecontesteddecisionissetasideandthemarriagebetweenthepartiesisherebydeclaredvalid."[2]
AlsochallengedbypetitioneristheDecember3,1998CAResolutiondenyingherMotionforReconsideration.
Earlier,theRegionalTrialCourt(RTC)hadruledthus:
"WHEREFORE,themarriagebetweenpetitionerBrendaB.MarcosandrespondentWilsonG.Marcos,solemnizedon
September6,1982inPasigCityisdeclarednullandvoidabinitiopursuanttoArt.36oftheFamilyCode.Theconjugal
properties,ifany,isdissolved[sic]inaccordancewithArticles126and129ofthesameCodeinrelationtoArticles50,
51and52relativetothedeliveryofthelegitimeof[the]parties'children.Inthebestinterestandwelfareoftheminor
children,theircustodyisgrantedtopetitionersubjecttothevisitationrightsofrespondent.
"UponfinalityofthisDecision,furnishcopyeachtotheOfficeoftheCivilRegistrarofPasigCitywherethemarriage
wassolemnized,theNationalCensusandStatisticsOffice,ManilaandtheRegisterofDeedsofMandaluyongCityfor RulingoftheCourtofAppeals
theirappropriateactionconsistentwiththisDecision.
Reversing the RTC, the CA held that psychological incapacity had not been established by the totality of the
"SOORDERED."
evidencepresented.Itratiocinatedinthiswise:
TheFacts
"Essentialinapetitionforannulmentistheallegationoftherootcauseofthespouse'spsychologicalincapacitywhich
ThefactsasfoundbytheCourtofAppealsareasfollows:
should also be medically or clinically identified, sufficiently proven by experts and clearly explained in the
"Itwasestablishedduringthetrialthatthepartiesweremarriedtwice:(1)onSeptember6,1982whichwassolemnized decision.Theincapacitymustbeproventobeexistingatthetimeofthecelebrationofthemarriageandshowntobe
byJudgeEribertoH.EspirituattheMunicipalCourtofPasig(Exh.A)and(2)onMay8,1983whichwassolemnized medicallyorclinicallypermanentorincurable.Itmustalsobegraveenoughtobringaboutthedisabilityoftheparties
by Rev. Eduardo L. Eleazar,Command Chaplain, at the Presidential Security Command Chapel in Malacaang Park, toassumetheessentialobligationsofmarriageassetforthinArticles68to71andArticles220to225oftheFamily
Manila(Exh.A1).Outoftheirmarriage,five(5)childrenwereborn(Exhs.B,C,D,EandF).
Codeandsuchnoncompliedmaritalobligationsmustsimilarlybeallegedinthepetition,establishedbyevidenceand
"AppellantWilsonG.MarcosjoinedtheArmedForcesofthePhilippinesin1973.Lateron,hewastransferredtothe explainedinthedecision.
Presidential Security Command in Malacaang during the Marcos Regime.Appellee Brenda B. Marcos, on the other "Inthecasebeforeus,theappellantwasnotsubjectedtoanypsychologicalorpsychiatricevaluation.Thepsychological
hand,joinedtheWomen'sAuxilliaryCorpsunderthePhilippineAirForcein1978.AftertheEdsaRevolution,bothof findings about the appellant by psychiatrist Natividad Dayan were based only on the interviews conducted with the
themsoughtadischargefromthemilitaryservice.
appellee.Expert evidence by qualified psychiatrists and clinical psychologists is essential if only to prove that the
"Theyfirstmetsometimein1980whenbothofthemwereassignedattheMalacaangPalace,sheasanescortofImee partieswereoranyoneofthemwasmentallyorpsychicallyilltobetrulyincognitiveofthemaritalobligationsheor
MarcosandheasaPresidentialGuardofPresidentFerdinandMarcos.Throughtelephoneconversations,theybecame shewasassuming,oraswouldmakehimorherxxxunabletoassumethem.Infact,heofferedtestimonialevidenceto
showthathe[was]notpsychologicallyincapacitated.Therootcauseofhissupposedincapacitywasnotallegedinthe
acquaintedandeventuallybecamesweethearts.
"AftertheirmarriageonSeptember6,1982,theyresidedatNo.1702DaisyStreet,HuloBliss,Mandaluyong,ahousing petition,normedicallyorclinicallyidentifiedasapsychologicalillnessorsufficientlyprovenbyanexpert.Similarly,
there is no evidence at all that would show that the appellant was suffering from an incapacity which [was]
unitwhichsheacquiredfromtheBlissDevelopmentCorporationwhenshewasstillsingle.
psychologicalormentalnotphysicaltotheextentthathecouldnothaveknowntheobligationshewasassuming:that
"After the downfall of President Marcos, he left the military service in 1987 and then engaged in different business
theincapacity[was]grave,ha[d]precededthemarriageand[was]incurable."[4]
venturesthatdidnothoweverprosper.Asawife,shealwaysurgedhimtolookforworksothattheirchildrenwouldsee
Hence,thisPetition.[5]
him, instead of her, as the head of the family and a good provider.Due to his failure to engage in any gainful
employment, they would often quarrel and as a consequence, he would hit and beat her.He would even force her to
havesexwithhimdespiteherweariness.Hewouldalsoinflictphysicalharmontheirchildrenforaslightmistakeand
was so severe in the way he chastised them.Thus, for several times during their cohabitation, he would leave their
house.In1992,theywerealreadylivingseparately.
"All the while, she was engrossed in the business of selling "magic uling" and chickens.While she was still in the
military, she would first make deliveries early in the morning before going to Malacaang.When she was discharged
from the military service, she concentrated on her business.Then, she became a supplier in the Armed Forces of the
Philippines until she was able to put up a trading and construction company, NS Ness Trading and Construction
DevelopmentCorporation.

Issues

InherMemorandum,[6]petitionerpresentsforthisCourt'sconsiderationthefollowingissues:
"I.WhetherornottheHonorableCourtofAppealscouldsetasidethefindingsbytheRegionalTrialCourt
ofpsychologicalincapacityofarespondentinaPetitionfordeclarationofnullityofmarriagesimply
becausetherespondentdidnotsubjecthimselftopsychologicalevaluation.
II.Whether or not the totality of evidence presented and the demeanor of all the witnesses should be the
basisofthedeterminationofthemeritsofthePetition."[7]
TheCourt'sRuling

We agree with petitioner that the personal medical or psychological examination of respondent is not a
7)Interpretations given by the National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal of the Catholic Church in the
requirementforadeclarationofpsychologicalincapacity.Nevertheless,thetotalityoftheevidenceshepresenteddoes
Philippines,whilenotcontrollingordecisive,shouldbegivengreatrespectbyourcourts.
notshowsuchincapacity.
xxxxxxxxx
PreliminaryIssue:NeedforPersonalMedicalExamination
(8)The trial court must order the prosecuting attorney or fiscal and the Solicitor General to appear as
Petitioner contends that the testimonies and the results of various tests that were submitted to determine
counsel for the state.No decision shall be handed down unless the Solicitor General issues a
respondent'spsychologicalincapacitytoperformtheobligationsofmarriageshouldnothavebeenbrushedasidebythe
certification,whichwillbequotedinthedecision,brieflystatingthereinhisreasonsforhisagreement
CourtofAppeals,simplybecauserespondenthadnottakenthosetestshimself.PetitioneraddsthattheCAshouldhave
or opposition, as the case may be, to the petition. The Solicitor General, along with the prosecuting
realized that under the circumstances, she had no choice but to rely on other sources of information in order to
attorney,shallsubmittothecourtsuchcertificationwithinfifteen(15)daysfromthedatethecaseis
determinethepsychologicalcapacityofrespondent,whohadrefusedtosubmithimselftosuchtests.
deemed submitted for resolution of the court.The Solicitor General shall discharge the equivalent
functionofthedefensorvinculicontemplatedunderCanon1095."[10]
InRepublicv.CAandMolina,[8]theguidelinesgoverningtheapplicationandtheinterpretationofpsychological
[9]
incapacityreferredtoinArticle36oftheFamilyCode werelaiddownbythisCourtasfollows:
The guidelines incorporate the three basic requirements earlier mandated by the Court inSantos v. Court of
Appeals:[11]"psychological incapacity must be characterized by (a) gravity(b) juridical antecedence, and(c)
"1)Theburdenofprooftoshowthenullityofthemarriagebelongstotheplaintiff.Anydoubtshouldbe
incurability." The foregoing guidelines do not require that a physician examine the person to be declared
resolved in favor of the existence and continuation of the marriage and against its dissolution and
psychologically incapacitated.In fact, the root cause may be "medicallyor clinicallyidentified." What is important is
nullity.ThisisrootedinthefactthatbothourConstitutionandourlawscherishthevalidityofmarriage
thepresenceofevidencethatcanadequatelyestablishtheparty'spsychologicalcondition.Forindeed,ifthetotalityof
andunityofthefamily.Thus,ourConstitutiondevotesanentireArticleontheFamily,recognizingit'as
evidencepresentedisenoughtosustainafindingofpsychologicalincapacity,thenactualmedicalexaminationofthe
the foundation of the nation.' It decrees marriage as legally 'inviolable,' thereby protecting it from
personconcernedneednotberesortedto.
dissolutionatthewhimoftheparties.Boththefamilyandmarriagearetobe'protected'bythestate.
MainIssue:TotalityofEvidencePresented
xxxxxxxxx
The main question, then, is whether the totality of the evidence presented in the present case including the
2)Therootcauseofthepsychologicalincapacitymustbe:(a)medicallyorclinicallyidentified,(b)alleged
testimonies of petitioner, the common children, petitioner's sister and the social worker was enough to sustain a
inthecomplaint,(c)sufficientlyprovenbyexpertsand(d)clearlyexplainedinthedecision.Article36
findingthatrespondentwaspsychologicallyincapacitated.
of the Family Code requires that the incapacity must be psychological not physical, although its
manifestationsand/orsymptomsmaybephysical.Theevidencemustconvincethecourtthattheparties,
Weruleinthenegative.AlthoughthisCourtissufficientlyconvincedthatrespondentfailedtoprovidematerial
oroneofthem,wasmentallyorpsychicallyilltosuchanextentthatthepersoncouldnothaveknown
supporttothefamilyandmayhaveresortedtophysicalabuseandabandonment,thetotalityofhisactsdoesnotleadto
the obligations he was assuming, or knowing them, could not have given valid assumption
a conclusion of psychological incapacity on his part.There is absolutely no showing that his "defects" were already
thereof.Althoughnoexampleofsuchincapacityneedbegivenheresoasnottolimittheapplicationof
presentattheinceptionofthemarriageorthattheyareincurable.
theprovisionundertheprincipleofejusdemgeneris,neverthelesssuchrootcausemustbeidentifiedas
Verily, the behavior of respondent can be attributed to the fact that he had lost his job and was not gainfully
apsychologicalillnessanditsincapacitatingnaturefullyexplained.Expertevidencemaybegivenby
employedforaperiodofmorethansixyears.Itwasduringthisperiodthathebecameintermittentlydrunk,failedto
qualifiedpsychiatristsandclinicalpsychologists.
givematerialandmoralsupport,andevenleftthefamilyhome.
3)Theincapacitymustbeproventobeexistingat'thetimeofthecelebration'ofthemarriage.Theevidence
Thus, his alleged psychological illness was traced only to said period and not to the inception of the
mustshowthattheillnesswasexistingwhenthepartiesexchangedtheir'Ido's.'Themanifestationof
marriage.Equally important, there is no evidence showing that his condition is incurable, especially now that he is
theillnessneednotbeperceivableatsuchtime,buttheillnessitselfmusthaveattachedatsuchmoment,
gainfullyemployedasataxidriver.
orpriorthereto.
Article36oftheFamilyCode,westress,isnottobeconfusedwithadivorcelawthatcutsthemaritalbondatthe
4)Such incapacity must also be shown to be medically or clinically permanent or incurable.Such
timethecausesthereformanifestthemselves.Itreferstoaseriouspsychologicalillnessafflictingapartyevenbeforethe
incurability may be absolute or even relative only in regard to the other spouse, not necessarily
celebrationofthemarriage.Itisamaladysograveandsopermanentastodepriveoneofawarenessofthedutiesand
absolutely against everyone of the same sex.Furthermore, such incapacity must be relevant to the
responsibilities of the matrimonial bond one is about to assume.These marital obligations are those provided under
assumptionofmarriageobligations,notnecessarilytothosenotrelatedtomarriage,liketheexerciseof
Articles68to71,220,221and225oftheFamilyCode.
aprofessionoremploymentinajob.Hence,apediatricianmaybeeffectiveindiagnosingillnessesof
NeitherisArticle36tobeequatedwithlegalseparation,inwhichthegroundsneednotberootedinpsychological
childrenandprescribingmedicinetocurethembutnotbepsychologicallycapacitatedtoprocreate,bear
incapacity but on physical violence, moral pressure, moral corruption, civil interdiction, drug addiction, habitual
andraisehis/herownchildrenasanessentialobligationofmarriage.
alcoholism,sexualinfidelity,abandonmentandthelike.[12]Atbest,theevidencepresentedbypetitionerrefersonlyto
5)Such illness must be grave enough to bring about the disability of the party to assume the essential
groundsforlegalseparation,notfordeclaringamarriagevoid.
obligations of marriage. Thus, 'mild characteriological peculiarities, mood changes, occasional
BecauseArticle36hasbeenabusedasaconvenientdivorcelaw,thisCourtlaiddowntheproceduralrequirements
emotional outbursts cannot be accepted as root causes.The illness must be shown as downright
foritsinvocationinMolina.Petitioner,however,hasnotfaithfullyobservedthem.
incapacityorinability,notarefusal,neglectordifficulty,muchlessillwill.Inotherwords,thereisa
Insum,thisCourtcannotdeclarethedissolutionofthemarriageforfailureofpetitionertoshowthatthealleged
natal or supervening disabling factor in the person, an adverse integral element in the personality
psychological
incapacity is characterized by gravity, juridical antecedence and incurability and for her failure to
structurethateffectivelyincapacitatesthepersonfromreallyacceptingandtherebycomplyingwiththe
observetheguidelinesoutlinedinMolina.
obligationsessentialtomarriage.
WHEREFORE, the Petition isDENIEDand assailed DecisionAFFIRMED,except that portion requiring
6)TheessentialmaritalobligationsmustbethoseembracedbyArticles68upto71oftheFamilyCodeas
personalmedicalexaminationasaconditiosinequanontoafindingofpsychologicalincapacity.Nocosts.
regardsthehusbandandwifeaswellasArticles220,221and225ofthesameCodeinregardtoparents
SOORDERED.
andtheirchildren.Suchnoncompliedmaritalobligation(s)mustalsobestatedinthepetition,proven
Melo,(Chairman),Vitug,Purisima,andGonzagaReyes,JJ.,concur.
byevidenceandincludedinthetextofthedecision.