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444); and because plaintiffs did not work on a salary basis, that is to say, they had no

MANUEL LARA ET AL., plaintiffs-appellants, vs. PETRONILO DEL ROSARIO, Jr., fixed or regular salary or remuneration other than the 20 per cent of their gross
earnings "their situation was therefore practically similar to piece workers and hence,
defendant-appellee. outside the ambit of article 302 of the Code of Commerce."
G.R. No. L-6339 | 1954-04-20
For purposes of reference we are reproducing the pertinent provisions of the Eight-
DECISION Hour Labor Law, namely, sections 1 to 4.
MONTEMAYOR, J.:
"SECTION 1. The legal working day for any person employed by another shall not be
In 1950 defendant Petronilo del Rosario, Jr., owner of twenty- five taxi cabs or cars, more than eight hours daily. When the work is not continuous, the time during which
operated a taxi business under the name of "Waval Taxi." He employed among others the laborer is not working and can leave his working place and can rest completely
three mechanics and 49 chauffeurs or drivers, the latter having worked for periods shall not be counted.
ranging from 2 to 37 months. On September 4, 1950, without giving said mechanics
and chauffeurs 30 days advance notice, Del Rosario sold his 25 units or cabs to La "SEC. 2. This Act shall apply to all persons employed in any industry or occupation,
Mallorca, a transportation company, as a result of which, according to the mechanics whether public or private, with the exception of farm laborers, laborers who prefer to
and chauffeurs above-mentioned they lost their jobs because the La Mallorca failed be paid on piece work basis, domestic servants and persons in the personal service of
to continue them in their employment. They brought this action against Del Rosario another and members of the family of the employer working for him.
to recover compensation for overtime work rendered beyond eight hours and on
Sundays and legal holidays, and one month salary (mesada) provided for in article 302 "SEC. 3. Work may be performed beyond eight hours a day in case of actual or
of the Code of Commerce because of the failure of their former employer to give them impending emergencies, caused by serious accidents, fire, flood, typhoon,
one month notice. Subsequently, the three mechanics unconditionally withdrew their earthquakes, epidemic, or other disaster or calamity in order to prevent loss of life
claims. So only the 49 drivers remained as plaintiffs. The defendant filed a motion for and property or imminent danger to public safety; or in case of urgent work to be
the dismissal of the complaint on the ground that it stated no cause of action and the performed on the machines, equipment, or installations in order to avoid a serious
trial court for the time being denied the motion saying that it will be considered when loss which the employer would otherwise suffer, or some other just cause of a similar
the case was heard on the merits. After trial the complaint was dismissed. Plaintiffs nature; but in all cases the laborers and employees shall be entitled to receive
appealed from the order of dismissal to the Court of Appeals which Tribunal after compensation for the overtime work performed at the same rate as their regular
finding that only questions of law are involved, certified the case to us. wages or salary, plus at least twenty-five per centum additional.

The parties are agreed that the plaintiffs as chauffeurs received no fixed compensation "In case of national emergency the Government is empowered to establish rules and
based on the hours or the period or time that they worked. Rather, they were paid on regulations for the operation of the plants and factories and to determine the wages
the commission basis, that is to say, each driver received 20 per cent of the gross to be paid the laborers.
returns or earnings from the operation of his taxi cab. Plaintiffs claim that as a rule,
each driver operated a taxi 12 hours a day with gross earnings ranging from P20 to "SEC. 4. No person, firm, or corporation, business establishment or place or center of
P25, receiving therefrom the corresponding 20 per cent share ranging from P4 to P5, work shall compel an employee or laborer to work during Sundays and legal holidays,
and that in some cases, especially during Saturdays, Sundays and holidays when a unless he is paid an additional sum of at least twenty-five per centum of his regular
driver worked 24 hours a day he grossed from P40 to P50, thereby receiving a share remuneration: Provided however, That this prohibition shall not apply to public
of from P8 to P10 for the period of twenty-four hours. utilities performing some public service such as supplying gas, electricity, power,
water, or providing means of transportation or communication."
The reasons given by the trial court in dismissing the complaint is that the defendant
being engaged in the taxi or transportation business which is a public utility, came Under section 4, as a public utility, the defendant could have his chauffeurs work on
under the exception provided by the Eight-Hour Labor Law Commonwealth Act No. Sundays and legal holidays without paying them an additional sum of at least 25 per
cent of their regular remuneration: but that, with reference only to work performed "It results that the working hours of the plaintiffs as taxi drivers were entirely
on Sundays and holidays. If the work done on such days exceeds 8 hours a day, then characterized by its irregularity, as distinguished from the specific regular
the Eight-Hour Labor Law would operate, provided of course that plaintiffs came remuneration predicated on specific and regular hours of work of factors and
under section 2 of the said law. So that the question to be decided here is whether or commercial employees.
not plaintiffs are entitled to extra compensation for work performed in excess of 8
hours a day, Sundays and holidays included. "In the case of the plaintiffs, it is the result of their labor, not the labor itself, which
determines their commissions. They worked under no compulsion of turning a fixed
It will be noticed that the last part of section 3 of Commonwealth Act 444 provides for income for each given day. . ."
extra compensation for over-time work "at the same rate as their regular wages or In an opinion dated June 1, 1939 (Opinion No. 115) modified by Opinion No. 22, series
salary, plus at least twenty-five per centum additional," and that section 2 of the same 1940, dated January 11, 1940, the Secretary of Justice held that chauffeurs of the
act excludes from the application thereof laborers who preferred to be on piece work Manila Yellow Taxicab Co. who "observed in a loose way certain working hours daily,"
basis. This connotes that a laborer or employee with no fixed salary, wages or and "the time they report for work as well as the time they leave work was left to their
remuneration but receiving as compensation from his employer an uncertain and discretion," receiving no fixed salary but only 20 per cent of their gross earnings, may
variable amount depending upon the work done or the result of said work (piece work) be considered as piece workers and therefore not covered by the provisions of the
irrespective of the amount of time employed, is not covered by the Eight-Hour Labor Eight-Hour Labor Law.
Law and is not entitled to extra compensation should he works in excess of 8 hours a
day. And this seems to be the condition of employment of the plaintiffs. A driver in The Wage Administration Service of the Department of Labor in its Interpretative
the taxi business of the defendant, like the plaintiffs, in one day could operate his taxi Bulletin No. 2 dated May 28, 1952, under "Overtime Compensation," in section 3
cab eight hours, or less than eight hours or in excess of 8 hours, or even for 24 hours thereof entitled Coverage, says:
on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, with no limit or restriction other than his desire,
inclination and state of health and physical endurance. He could drive continuously or "The provisions of this bulletin on overtime compensation shall apply to all persons
intermittently, systematically or haphazardly, fast or slow, etc. depending upon his employed in any industry or occupation, whether public or private, with the exception
exclusive wish or inclination. One day when he feels strong, active and enthusiastic he of farm laborers, non- agricultural laborers or employees who are paid on piece work,
works long, continuously, with diligence and industry and makes considerable gross contract, pakiao, task or commission basis, domestic servants and persons in the
returns and receives as much as his 20 per cent commission. Another day when he personal service of another and members of the family of the employer working for
feels despondent, run down, weak or lazy and wants to rest between trips and works him.
for a less number of hours, his gross returns are less and so is his commission. In other
words, his compensation for the day depends upon the result of his work, which in From all this, to us it is clear that the claim of plaintiffs-appellants for overtime
turn depends on the amount of industry, intelligence and experience applied to it, compensation under the Eight-Hour Labor Law has no valid support.
rather than the period of time employed. In short, he has no fixed salary or wages. In
this we agree with the learned trial court presided by Judge Felicisimo Ocampo which As to the month pay (mesada) under article 302 of the Code of Commerce, article
makes the following findings and observations on this point. 2270 of the new Civil Code (Republic Act 386) appears to have repealed said Article
302 when it repealed the provisions of the Code of Commerce governing Agency. This
". . . As already stated, their earnings were in the form of commission based on the repeal took place on August 30, 1950, when the new Civil Code went into effect, that
gross receipts of the day. Their participation in most cases depended upon their own is, one year after its publication in the Official Gazette. The alleged termination of
industry. So much so that the more hours they stay on the road, the greater the gross services of the plaintiffs by the defendant took place according to the complaint on
returns and the higher their commissions. They have no fixed hours of labor. They can September 4, 1950, that is to say, after the repeal of Article 302 which they invoke.
retire at pleasure, they not being paid a fixed salary on the hourly, daily, weekly or Moreover, said Article 302 of the Code of Commerce, assuming that it were still in
monthly basis. force, speaks of "salary corresponding to said month," commonly known as "mesada."
If the plaintiffs herein had no fixed salary either by the day, week or the month, then
computation of the month's salary payable would be impossible. Article 302 refers to
employees receiving a fixed salary. Dr. Arturo M. Tolentino in his book entitled
"Commentaries and Jurisprudence on the Commercial Laws of the Philippines," Vol. 1, b] Letter of Instructions Nos.: 10, 39, 49, 72, 107, 108, 116, 130, 136, 141, 150, 153,
4th edition, p. 160, says that article 302 is not applicable to employees without fixed 155, 161, 173, 180, 187, 188, 192, 193, 199, 202, 204, 205, 209, 211-213, 215-224,
salary. We quote - 226-228, 231-239, 241-245, 248-251, 253-261, 263-269, 271-273, 275-283, 285-289,
291, 293, 297-299, 301-303, 309, 312-315, 325, 327, 343, 346, 349, 357, 358, 362,
"Employees not entitled to indemnity. - This article refers only to those who are 367, 370, 382, 385, 386, 396-397, 405, 438-440, 444-445, 473, 486, 488, 498, 501,
engaged under salary basis, and not to those who only receive compensation 399, 527, 561, 576, 587, 594, 599, 600, 602, 609, 610, 611, 612, 615, 641, 642, 665,
equivalent to whatever service they may render. (1 Malagarriga 314, citing decision of 702, 712-713, 726, 837-839, 878-879, 881, 882, 939-940, 964, 997, 1149-1178,
Argentina Court of Appeals on Commercial Matters.)" 1180-1278.
In view of the foregoing, the order appealed from is hereby affirmed, with costs
against appellants. c] General Orders Nos.: 14, 52, 58, 59, 60, 62, 63, 64 & 65.
LORENZO M. TAADA, ABRAHAM F. SARMIENTO, and MOVEMENT OF ATTORNEYS FOR
BROTHERHOOD, INTEGRITY AND NATIONALISM, INC. [MABINI], petitioners, d] Proclamation Nos.: 1126, 1144, 1147, 1151, 1196, 1270, 1281, 1319-1526, 1529,
vs. 1532, 1535, 1538, 1540-1547, 1550-1558, 1561-1588, 1590-1595, 1594-1600, 1606-
HON. JUAN C. TUVERA, in his capacity as Executive Assistant to the President, HON. 1609, 1612-1628, 1630-1649, 1694-1695, 1697-1701, 1705-1723, 1731-1734, 1737-
JOAQUIN VENUS, in his capacity as Deputy Executive Assistant to the President , 1742, 1744, 1746-1751, 1752, 1754, 1762, 1764-1787, 1789-1795, 1797, 1800,
MELQUIADES P. DE LA CRUZ, in his capacity as Director, Malacaang Records Office, and 1802-1804, 1806-1807, 1812-1814, 1816, 1825-1826, 1829, 1831-1832, 1835-1836,
FLORENDO S. PABLO, in his capacity as Director, Bureau of Printing, respondents. 1839-1840, 1843-1844, 1846-1847, 1849, 1853-1858, 1860, 1866, 1868, 1870, 1876-
G.R. No. L-63915 | 1985-04-24 1889, 1892, 1900, 1918, 1923, 1933, 1952, 1963, 1965-1966, 1968-1984, 1986-
2028, 2030-2044, 2046-2145, 2147-2161, 2163-2244.
DECISION
e] Executive Orders Nos.: 411, 413, 414, 427, 429-454, 457-471, 474-492, 494-507,
ESCOLIN, J.: 509-510, 522, 524-528, 531-532, 536, 538, 543-544, 549, 551-553, 560, 563, 567-
568, 570, 574, 593, 594, 598-604, 609, 611-647, 649-677, 679-703, 705-707, 712-
Invoking the people's right to be informed on matters of public concern, a right 786, 788-852, 854-857.
recognized in Section 6, Article IV of the 1973 Philippine Constitution, 1 as well as the
principle that laws to be valid and enforceable must be published in the Official f] Letters of Implementation Nos.: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11-22, 25-27, 39, 50, 51, 59, 76, 80-81,
Gazette or otherwise effectively promulgated, petitioners seek a writ of mandamus to 92, 94, 95, 107, 120, 122, 123.
compel respondent public officials to publish, and or cause the publication in the
Official Gazette of various presidential decrees, letters of instructions, general orders, g] Administrative Orders Nos.: 347, 348, 352-354, 360-378, 380-433, 436-439.
proclamations, executive orders, letter of implementation and administrative orders.
The respondents, through the Solicitor General, would have this case dismissed
Specifically, the publication of the following presidential issuances is sought: outright on the ground that petitioners have no legal personality or standing to bring
the instant petition. The view is submitted that in the absence of any showing that
petitioners are personally and directly affected or prejudiced by the alleged non-
a] Presidential Decrees Nos. 12, 22, 37, 38, 59, 64, 103, 171, 179, 184, 197, 200, 234, publication of the presidential issuances in question 2 said petitioners are without the
265, 286, 298, 303, 312, 324, 325, 326, 337, 355, 358, 359, 360, 361, 368, 404, 406, requisite legal personality to institute this mandamus proceeding, they are not being
415, 427, 429, 445, 447, 473, 486, 491, 503, 504, 521, 528, 551, 566, 573, 574, 594, "aggrieved parties" within the meaning of Section 3, Rule 65 of the Rules of Court,
599, 644, 658, 661, 718, 731, 733, 793, 800, 802, 835, 836, 923, 935, 961, 1017- which we quote:
1030, 1050, 1060-1061, 1085, 1143, 1165, 1166, 1242, 1246, 1250, 1278, 1279,
1300, 1644, 1772, 1808, 1810, 1813-1817, 1819-1826, 1829-1840, 1842-1847.
"SEC. 3. Petition for Mandamus. - When any tribunal, corporation, board or person
unlawfully neglects the performance of an act which the law specifically enjoins as a "No reason exists in the case at bar for applying the general rule insisted upon by
duty resulting from an office, trust, or station, or unlawfully excludes another from the counsel for the respondent. The circumstances which surround this case are different
use and enjoyment of a right or office to which such other is entitled, and there is no from those in the United States, inasmuch as if the relator is not a proper party to
other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law, the person these proceedings no other person could be, as we have seen that it is not the duty of
aggrieved thereby may file a verified petition in the proper court alleging the facts with the law officer of the Government to appear and represent the people in cases of this
certainty and praying that judgment be rendered commanding the defendant, character."
immediately or at some other specified time, to do the act required to be done to
protect the rights of the petitioner, and to pay the damages sustained by the The reasons given by the Court in recognizing a private citizen's legal personality in the
petitioner by reason of the wrongful acts of the defendant." aforementioned case apply squarely to the present petition. Clearly, the right sought
to be enforced by petitioners herein is a public right recognized by no less than the
Upon the other hand, petitioners maintain that since the subject of the petition fundamental law of the land. If petitioners were not allowed to institute this
concerns a public right and its object is to compel the performance of a public duty, proceeding, it would indeed be difficult to conceive of any other person to initiate the
they need not show any specific interest for their petition to be given due course. same, considering that the Solicitor General, the government officer generally
empowered to represent the people, has entered his appearance for respondents in
The issue posed is not one of first impression. As early as the 1910 case of Severino this case.
vs. Governor General, 3 this Court held that while the general rule is that "a writ of
mandamus would be granted to a private individual only in those cases where he has Respondents further contend that publication in the Official Gazette is not a sine qua
some private or particular interest to be subserved, or some particular right to be non requirement for the effectivity of laws where the laws themselves provide for
protected, independent of that which he holds with the public at large," and "it is for their own effectivity dates. It is thus submitted that since the presidential issuances in
the public officers exclusively to apply for the writ when public rights are to be question contain special provisions as to the date they are to take effect, publication
subserved [Mithchell vs. Boardmen, 79 M.e., 469]," nevertheless, "when the question in the Official Gazette is not indispensable for their effectivity. The point stressed is
is one of public right and the object of the mandamus is to procure the enforcement anchored on Article 2 of the Civil Code:
of a public duty, the people are regarded as the real party in interest and the relator
at whose instigation the proceedings are instituted need not show that he has any "Art. 2. Laws shall take effect after fifteen days following the completion of their
legal or special interest in the result, it being sufficient to show that he is a citizen and publication in the Official Gazette, unless it is otherwise provided . . .
as such interested in the execution of the laws [High, Extraordinary Legal Remedies,
3rd ed., sec. 431]." The interpretation given by respondent is in accord with this Court's construction of
said article. In a long line of decisions, 4 this Court has ruled that publication in the
Thus, in said case, this Court recognized the relator Lope Severino, a private individual, Official Gazette is necessary in those cases where the legislation itself does not provide
as a proper party to the mandamus proceedings brought to compel the Governor for its effectivity date - for then the date of publication is material for determining its
General to call a special election for the position of municipal president in the town of date of effectivity, which is the fifteenth day following its publication - but not when
Silay, Negros Occidental. Speaking for this Court, Mr. Justice Grant T. Trent said: the law itself provides for the date when it goes into effect.

"We are therefore of the opinion that the weight of authority supports the proposition Respondents' argument, however, is logically correct only insofar as it equates the
that the relator is a proper party to proceedings of this character when a public right effectivity of laws with the fact of publication. Considered in the light of other statutes
is sought to be enforced. If the general rule in America were otherwise, we think that applicable to the issue at hand, the conclusion is easily reached that said Article 2 does
it would not be applicable to the case at bar for the reason 'that it is always dangerous not preclude the requirement of publication in the Official Gazette, even if the law
to apply a general rule to a particular case without keeping in mind the reason for the itself provides for the date of its effectivity. Thus, Section 1 of Commonwealth Act 638
rule, because, if under the particular circumstances the reason for the rule does not provides as follows:
exist, the rule itself is not applicable and reliance upon the rule may well lead to error.'
"Section 1. There shall be published in the Official Gazette [1] all important legislative people, such as tax and revenue measures, fall within this category. Other presidential
acts and resolutions of a public nature of the Congress of the Philippines; [2] all issuances which apply only to particular persons or class of persons such as
executive and administrative orders and proclamations, except such as have no administrative and executive orders need not be published on the assumption that
general applicability; [3] decisions or abstracts of decisions of the Supreme Court and they have been circularized to all concerned. 6
the Court of Appeals as may be deemed by said courts of sufficient importance to be
so published; [4] such documents or classes of documents as may be required so to It is needless to add that the publication of presidential issuances "of a public nature"
be published by law; and [5] such documents or classes of documents as the President or "of general applicability" is a requirement of due process. It is a rule of law that
of the Philippines shall determine from time to time to have general applicability and before a person may be bound by law, he must first be officially and specifically
legal effect, or which he may authorize so to be published. . . ." informed of its contents. As Justice Claudio Teehankee said in Peralta vs. COMELEC 7:

The clear object of the above quoted provision is to give the general public adequate "In a time of proliferating decrees, orders and letters of instructions which all form
notice of the various laws which are to regulate their actions and conduct as citizens. part of the law of the land, the requirement of due process and the Rule of Law
Without such notice and publication, there would be no basis for the application of demand that the Official Gazette as the official government repository promulgate
the maxim "ignorantia legis non excusat." It would be the height of injustice to punish and publish the texts of all such decrees, orders and instructions so that the people
or otherwise burden a citizen for the transgression of a law of which he had no notice may know where to obtain their official and specific contents."
whatsoever, not even a constructive one.
The Court therefore declares that presidential issuances of general application, which
Perhaps at no time since the establishment of the Philippine Republic has the have not been published, shall have no force and effect. Some members of the Court,
publication of laws taken so vital significance that at this time when the people have quite apprehensive about the possible unsettling effect this decision might have on
bestowed upon the President a power heretofore enjoyed solely by the legislature. acts done in reliance of the validity of those presidential decrees which were published
While the people are kept abreast by the mass media of the debates and deliberations only during the pendency of this petition, have put the question as to whether the
in the Batasan Pambansa - and for the diligent ones, ready access to the legislative Court's declaration of invalidity apply to P.D.s which had been enforced or
records - no such publicity accompanies the law-making process of the President. implemented prior to their publication. The answer is all too familiar. In similar
Thus, without publication, the people have no means of knowing what presidential situations in the past this Court had taken the pragmatic and realistic course set forth
decrees have actually been promulgated, much less a definite way of informing in Chicot County Drainage District vs. Baxter Bank 8 to wit:
themselves of the specific contents and texts of such decrees. As the Supreme Court
of Spain ruled: "Bajo la denominacion genrica de leyes, se comprenden tambin los "The courts below have proceeded on the theory that the Act of Congress, having
reglamentos, Reales decretos, Instrucciones, Circulares y Reales ordines dictadas de been found to be unconstitutional, was not a law; that it was inoperative, conferring
conformidad con las mismas por el Gobierno en uso de su potestad." 5 no rights and imposing no duties, and hence affording no basis for the challenged
decree. Norton v. Shelby County, 118 U.S. 425, 442; Chicago, I. & L. Ry. Co. v. Hackett,
The very first clause of Section 1 of Commonwealth Act 638 reads: "There shall be 228 U.S. 559, 566. It is quite clear, however, that such broad statements as to the
published in the Official Gazette . . ." The word "shall" used therein imposes upon effect of a determination of unconstitutionality must be taken with qualifications. The
respondent officials an imperative duty. That duty must be enforced if the actual existence of a statute, prior to such a determination, is an operative fact and
Constitutional right of the people to be informed on matters of public concern is to be may have consequences which cannot justly be ignored. The past cannot always be
given substance and reality. The law itself makes a list of what should be published in erased by a new judicial declaration. The effect of the subsequent ruling as to invalidity
the official Gazette. Such listing, to our mind, leaves respondents with no discretion may have to be considered in various aspects - with respect to particular conduct,
whatsoever as to what must be included or excluded from such publication. private and official. Questions of rights claimed to have become vested, of status, of
prior determinations deemed to have finality and acted upon accordingly, of public
The publication of all presidential issuances "of a public nature" or "of general policy in the light of the nature both of the statute and of its previous application,
applicability" is mandated by law. Obviously, presidential decrees that provide for demand examination. These questions are among the most difficult of those which
fines, forfeitures or penalties for their violation or otherwise impose a burden on the have engaged the attention of courts, state and federal, and it is manifest from
numerous decisions that an all-inclusive statement of a principle of absolute De la Fuente, J., Insofar as the opinion declares the unpublished decrees and issuances
retroactive invalidity cannot be justified." of a public nature or general applicability ineffective, until due publication thereof.

Consistently with the above principle, this Court in Rutter vs. Esteban 9 sustained the Separate Opinions
right of a party under the Moratorium Law, albeit said right had accrued in his favor
before said law was declared unconstitutional by this Court. FERNANDO, C.J., concurring with qualification:

Similarly, the implementation/enforcement of presidential decrees prior to their There is on the whole acceptance on my part of the views expressed in the ably written
publication in the Official Gazette is "an operative fact which may have consequences opinion of Justice Escolin. I am unable, however, to concur insofar as it would
which cannot be justly ignored. The past cannot always be erased by a new judicial unqualifiedly impose the requirement of publication in the Official Gazette for
declaration . . . that an all-inclusive statement of a principle of absolute retroactive unpublished "presidential issuances" to have binding force and effect.
invalidity cannot be justified."
I shall explain why.
From the report submitted to the Court by the Clerk of Court, it appears that of the
presidential decrees sought by petitioners to be published in the Official Gazette, only 1. It is of course true that without the requisite publication, a due process question
Presidential Decrees Nos. 1019 to 1030, inclusive, 1278, and 1937 to 1939, inclusive, would arise if made to apply adversely to a party who is not even aware of the
have not been so published. 10 Neither the subject matters nor the texts of these PDs existence of any legislative or executive act having the force and effect of law. My
can be ascertained since no copies thereof are available. But whatever their subject point is that such publication required need not be confined to the Official Gazette.
matter may be, it is undisputed that none of these unpublished PDs has ever been From the pragmatic standpoint, there is an advantage to be gained. It conduces to
implemented or enforced by the government. In Pesigan vs. Angeles, 11 the Court, certainty. That is too be admitted. It does not follow, however, that failure to do so
through Justice Ramon Aquino, ruled that "publication is necessary to apprise the would in all cases and under all circumstances result in a statute, presidential decree
public of the contents of [penal] regulations and make the said penalties binding on or any other executive act of the same category being bereft of any binding force and
the persons affected thereby." The cogency of this holding is apparently recognized effect. To so hold would, for me, raise a constitutional question. Such a
by respondent officials considering the manifestation in their comment that "the pronouncement would lend itself to the interpretation that such a legislative or
government, as a matter of policy, refrains from prosecuting violations of criminal laws presidential act is bereft of the attribute of effectivity unless published in the Official
until the same shall have been published in the Official Gazette or in some other Gazette. There is no such requirement in the Constitution as Justice Plana so aptly
publication, even though some criminal laws provide that they shall take effect pointed out. It is true that what is decided now applies only to past "presidential
immediately." issuances." Nonetheless, this clarification is, to my mind, needed to avoid any possible
misconception as to what is required for any statute or presidential act to be
WHEREFORE, the Court hereby orders respondents to publish in the Official Gazette impressed with binding force or effectivity.
all unpublished presidential issuances which are of general application, and unless so
published, they shall have no binding force and effect. 2. It is quite understandable then why I concur in the separate opinion of Justice Plana.
Its first paragraph sets forth what to me is the constitutional doctrine applicable to
SO ORDERED. this case. Thus: "The Philippine Constitution does not require the publication of laws
as a prerequisite for their effectivity, unlike some Constitutions elsewhere. It may be
Relova, J., concur. said though that the guarantee of due process requires notice of laws to affected
Aquino, J., took no part. parties before they can be bound thereby; but such notice is not necessarily by
Concepcion, Jr., J., is on leave. publication in the Official Gazette. The due process clause is not that precise." 1 I am
Gutierrez, Jr., J., I concur insofar as publication is necessary but reserve my vote as to likewise in agreement with its closing paragraph: "In fine, I concur in the majority
the necessity of such publication being in the Official Gazette. decision to the extent that it requires notice before laws become effective, for no
person should be bound by a law without notice. This is elementary fairness. However,
I beg to disagree insofar as it holds that such notice shall be by publication in the to go too far. It may be fraught, as earlier noted, with undesirable consequences. I find
Official Gazette." 2 myself therefore unable to yield assent to such a pronouncement.

3. It suffices, as was stated by Judge Learned Hand, that law as the command of the I am authorized to state that Justices Makasiar, Abad Santos, Cuevas, and Alampay
government "must be ascertainable in some form if it is to be enforced at all." 3 It concur in this separate opinion.
would indeed be to reduce it to the level of mere futility, as pointed out by Justice Makasiar, Abad Santos, Cuevas and Alampay, JJ., concur.
Cardozo, "if it is unknown and unknowable." 4 Publication, to repeat, is thus essential.
What I am not prepared to subscribe to is the doctrine that it must be in the Official TEEHANKEE, J., concurring:
Gazette. To be sure once published therein there is the ascertainable mode of
determining the exact date of its effectivity. Still for me that does not dispose of the I concur with the main opinion of Mr. Justice Escolin and the concurring opinion of
question of what is the jural effect of past presidential decrees or executive acts not Mme. Justice Herrera. The Rule of Law connotes a body of norms and laws published
so published. For prior thereto, it could be that parties aware of their existence could and ascertainable and of equal application to all similarly circumstanced and not
have conducted themselves in accordance with their provisions. If no legal subject to arbitrary change but only under certain set procedures. The Court has
consequences could attach due to lack of publication in the Official Gazette, then consistently stressed that "it is an elementary rule of fair play and justice that a
serious problems could arise. Previous transactions based on such "Presidential reasonable opportunity to be informed must be afforded to the people who are
Issuances" could be open to question. Matters deemed settled could still be inquired commanded to obey before they can be punished for its violation," 1 citing the settled
into. I am not prepared to hold that such an effect is contemplated by our decision. principle based on due process enunciated in earlier cases that "before the public is
Where such presidential decree or executive act is made the basis of a criminal bound by its contents, especially its penal provisions, a law, regulation or circular must
prosecution, then, of course, its ex post facto character becomes evident. 5 In civil first be published and the people officially and specially informed of said contents and
cases though, retroactively as such is not conclusive on the due process aspect. There its penalties."
must still be a showing of arbitrariness. Moreover, where the challenged presidential
decree or executive act was issued under the police power, the non-impairment Without official publication in the Official Gazette as required by Article 2 of the Civil
clause of the Constitution may not always be successfully invoked. There must still be Code and the Revised Administrative Code, there would be no basis nor justification
that process of balancing to determine whether or not it could in such a case be for the corollary rule of Article 3 of the Civil Code (based on constructive notice that
tainted by infirmity. 6 In traditional terminology, there could arise then a question of the provisions of the law are ascertainable from the public and official repository
unconstitutional application. That is as far as it goes. where they are duly published) that "Ignorance of the law excuses no one from
compliance therewith."
4. Let me make therefore that my qualified concurrence goes no further than to affirm
that publication is essential to the effectivity of a legislative or executive act of a Respondents' contention based on a misreading of Article 2 of the Civil Code that "only
general application. I am not in agreement with the view that such publication must laws which are silent as to their effectivity [date] need be published in the Official
be in the Official Gazette. The Civil Code itself in its Article 2 expressly recognizes that Gazette for their effectivity" is manifestly untenable. The plain text and meaning of
the rule as to laws taking effect after fifteen days following the completion of their the Civil Code is that "laws shall take effect after fifteen days following the completion
publication in the Official Gazette is subject to this exception, "unless it is otherwise of their publication in the Official Gazette, unless it is otherwise provided," i.e. a
provided." Moreover, the Civil Code is itself only a legislative enactment, Republic Act different effectivity date is provided by the law itself. This proviso perforce refers to a
No. 386. It does not and cannot have the juridical force of a constitutional command. law that has been duly published pursuant to the basic constitutional requirements of
A later legislative or executive act which has the force and effect of law can legally due process. The best example of this is the Civil Code itself: the same Article 2
provide for a different rule. provides otherwise that it "shall take effect [only] one year [not 15 days] after such
publication." 2 To sustain respondents' misreading that "most laws or decrees specify
5. Nor can I agree with the rather sweeping conclusion in the opinion of Justice Escolin the date of their effectivity and for this reason, publication in the Official Gazette is
that presidential decrees and executive acts not thus previously published in the not necessary for their effectivity"3 would be to nullify and render nugatory the Civil
Official Gazette would be devoid of any legal character. That would be, in my opinion, Code's indispensable and essential requirement of prior publication in the Official
Gazette by the simple expedient of providing for immediate effectivity or an earlier and administrative orders and proclamations, except such as have no general
effectivity date in the law itself before the completion of 15 days following its applicability." It is noteworthy that not all legislative acts are required to be published
publication which is the period generally fixed by the Civil Code for its proper in the Official Gazette but only "important" ones "of a public nature." Moreover, the
dissemination. said law does not provide that publication in the Official Gazette is essential for the
effectivity of laws. This is as it should be, for all statutes are equal and stand on the
MELENCIO-HERRERA, J., concurring: same footing. A law, especially an earlier one of general application such as
Commonwealth Act No. 638, cannot nullify or restrict the operation of a subsequent
I agree. There cannot be any question but that even if a decree provides for a date of statute that has a provision of its own as to when and how it will take effect. Only a
effectivity, it has to be published. What I would like to state in connection with that higher law, which is the Constitution, can assume that role.
proposition is that when a date of effectivity is mentioned in the decree but the decree
becomes effective only fifteen (15) days after its publication in the Official Gazette, it In fine, I concur in the majority decision to the extent that it requires notice before
will not mean that the decree can have retroactive effect to the date of effectivity laws become effective, for no person should be bound by a law without notice. This is
mentioned in the decree itself. There should be no retroactivity if the retroactivity will elementary fairness. However, I beg to disagree insofar as it holds that such notice
run counter to constitutional rights or shall destroy vested rights. shall be by publication in the Official Gazette.

PLANA, J., concurring and dissenting:

The Philippine Constitution does not require the publication of laws as a prerequisite
for their effectivity, unlike some Constitutions elsewhere.* It may be said though that
the guarantee of due process requires notice of laws to affected parties before they
can be bound thereby; but such notice is not necessarily by publication in the Official
Gazette. The due process clause is not that precise. Neither is the publication of laws
in the Official Gazette required by any statute as a prerequisite for their effectivity, if
said laws already provide for their effectivity date.

Article 2 of the Civil Code provides that "laws shall take effect after fifteen days
following the completion of their publication in the Official Gazette, unless it is
otherwise provided." Two things may be said of this provision: Firstly, it obviously does
not apply to a law with a built-in provision as to when it will take effect. Secondly, it
clearly recognizes that each law may provide not only a different period for reckoning
its effectivity date but also a different mode of notice. Thus, a law may prescribe that
it shall be published elsewhere than in the Official Gazette.

Commonwealth Act No. 638, in my opinion, does not support the proposition that for
their effectivity, laws must be published in the Official Gazette. The said law is simply
"An Act to Provide for the Uniform Publication and Distribution of the Official Gazette."
Conformably therewith, it authorizes the publication of the Official Gazette,
determines its frequency, provides for its sale and distribution, and defines the
authority of the Director of Printing in relation thereto. It also enumerates what shall
be published in the Official Gazette, among them, "important legislative acts and
resolutions of a public nature of the Congress of the Philippines" and "all executive
allowed an additional exemption of Five Thousand Pesos (P5,000) for each
REYNALDO V. UMALI, petitioner, vs. HON. JESUS P. ESTANISLAO, Secretary of Finance,
dependent: Provided, That the total number of dependents for which additional
and HON. JOSE U. ONG, Commissioner of Internal Revenue, respondents. exemptions may be claimed shall not exceed four dependents: Provided, further,
That an additional exemption of One Thousand Pesos (1,000) shall be allowed for
G.R. No. 104037 | 1992-05-29 each child who otherwise qualified as dependent prior to January 1, 1980: Provided,
DECISION finally, That the additional exemption for dependents shall be claimed by only one of
the spouses in case of married individuals electing to compute their income tax
liabilities separately.'
PADILLA, J.:
SEC. 3. This act shall take effect upon its approval.
These consolidated cases are petitions for mandamus and prohibition, premised Approved." 1
upon the following undisputed facts:
The said act was signed and approved by the President on 19 December 1991 and
Congress enacted Rep. Act 7167, entitled "AN ACT ADJUSTING THE BASIC PERSONAL published on 14 January 1992 in "Malaya" a newspaper of general circulation.
AND ADDITIONAL EXEMPTIONS ALLOWABLE TO INDIVIDUALS FOR INCOME TAX
PURPOSES TO THE POVERTY THRESHOLD LEVEL, AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE On 26 December 1992, respondents promulgated Revenue Regulations No. 1-92, the
SECTION 29, PARAGRAPH (L), ITEMS (1) AND (2)(A) OF THE NATIONAL INTERNAL pertinent portions of which read as follows:
REVENUE CODE, AS AMENDED, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES." It provides as follows:
"SEC. 1. SCOPE Pursuant to Sections 245 and 72 of the National Internal Revenue
"SECTION (1). The first paragraph of item (1), paragraph (1) of Section 29 of the Code in relation to Republic Act No. 7167, these Regulations are hereby promulgated
National Internal Revenue Code, as amended, is hereby further amended to read as prescribing the collection at source of income tax on compensation income paid on
follows: or after January 1, 1992 under the Revised Withholding Tax Tables (ANNEX "A")
which take into account the increase of personal and additional exemptions.
(1) Personal Exemptions allowable to individuals (1) Basic personal exemption as
follows: xxx xxx xxx

'For single individual or married individual judicially decreed as legally separated with SEC. 3. Section 8 of Revenue Regulations No. 6-82 as amended by Revenue
no qualified dependents P9,000 Regulations No. 1-86 is hereby further amended to read as follows:

For head of a family P12,000 'Section 8. Right to claim the following exemptions.' . . . . Each employee shall be
For married individual P18,000 allowed to claim the following amount of exemption with respect to compensation
paid on or after January 1, 1992.
Provided, That husband and wife electing to compute their income tax separately
shall be entitled to a personal exemption of P9,000 each.' xxx xxx xxx

SEC. 2. The first paragraph of item (2)(A), paragraph (1) of Section 29 of the same SEC. 5. EFFECTIVITY. These regulations shall take effect on compensation income
Code, as amended, is hereby further amended to read as follows: from January 1, 1992."

'(2) Additional exemption. On 27 February 1992, the petitioner in G.R. No. 104037, a taxpayer and a resident of
(A) Taxpayers with dependents. A married individual or a head of family shall be Gitnang Bayan Bongabong, Oriental Mindoro, filed a petition for mandamus for
himself and in behalf of all individual Filipino taxpayers, to COMPEL the respondents
to implement Rep. Act 7167 with respect to taxable income of individual taxpayers that R.A. 6965 took effect on October 5, 1990.
earned or received on or after 1 January 1991 or as of taxable year ending 31 Petitioner took exception thereof and argued that the law took effect on September
December 1991. 20, 1990 instead.

On 28 February 1992, the petitioners in G.R. No. 104069 likewise filed a petition for Pertinent is Article 2 of the Civil Code (as amended by Executive Order No. 200)
mandamus and prohibition on their behalf as well as for those other individual which provides:
taxpayers who might be similarly situated, to compel the Commissioner of Internal
Revenue to implement the mandate of Rep. Act 7167 adjusting the personal and 'Article 2. Laws shall take effect after fifteen days following the completion of their
additional exemptions allowable to individuals for income tax purposes in regard to publication either in the official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation in
income earned or received in 1991, and to enjoin the respondents from the Philippines, unless it is otherwise provided. . . .'
implementing Revenue Regulations No. 1-92.
In the case of Taada vs. Tuvera (L-63915, December 29, 1986, 146 SCRA 446, 452)
In the Court's resolution of 10 March 1992, these two (2) cases were consolidated. we construed Article 2 of the Civil Code and laid down the rule:
Respondents were required to comment on the petitions, which they did within the
prescribed period. '. . . : the) clause `unless it is otherwise provided' refers to the date of effectivity and
not to the requirement of publication itself, which cannot in any event be omitted.
The principal issues to be resolved in these cases are: (1) whether or not Rep. Act This clause does not mean that the legislator may make the law effective
7167 took effect upon its approval by the President on 19 December 1991, or on 30 immediately upon approval, or on any other date without its previous publication.'
January 1992, i.e., after fifteen (15) days following its publication on 14 January 1992
in the "Malaya" a newspaper of general circulation; and (2) assuming that Rep. Act 'Publication is indispensable in every case, but the legislature may in its discretion
7167 took effect on 30 January 1992, whether or not the said law nonetheless provide that the usual fifteen-day period shall be shortened or extended. . . .'
covers or applies to compensation income earned or received during calendar year
1991. Inasmuch as R.A. 6965 has no specific date for its effectivity and neither can it
become effective upon its approval notwithstanding its express statement, following
In resolving the first issue, it will be recalled that the Court in its resolution in Caltex Article 2 of the Civil Code and the doctrine enunciated in Taada, supra, R.A. 6965
(Phils.), Inc. vs. The Commissioner of Internal Revenue, G.R. No. 97282, 26 June 1991 took effect fifteen days after September 20, 1990, or specifically, on October 5,
which is on all fours with this case as to the first issue held: 1990."

"The central issue presented in the instant petition is the effectivity of R.A. 6965 Accordingly, the Court rules that Rep. Act 7167 took effect on 30 January 1992,
entitled 'An Act Revising The Form of Taxation on Petroleum Products from Ad which is after fifteen (15) days following its publication on 14 January 1992 in the
Valorem to Specific, Amending For the Purpose Section 145 of the National Internal "Malaya."
Revenue Code, As amended by Republic Act Numbered Sixty Seven Hundred Sixty
Seven.' Coming now to the second issue, the Court is of the considered view that Rep. Act
7167 should cover or extend to compensation income earned or received during
Section 3 of R.A. 6965 contains the effectivity clause which provides, 'This Act shall calendar year 1991.
take effect upon its approval'
Sec. 29, par. (L), Item No. 4 of the National Internal Revenue Code, as amended,
R.A. 6965 was approved on September 19, 1990. It was published in the Philippine provides:
Journal, a newspaper of general circulation in the Philippines, on September 20,
1990. Pursuant to the Act, an implementing regulations was issued by the "Upon the recommendation of the Secretary of Finance, the President shall
Commissioner of Internal Revenue, Revenue Memorandum Circular 85-90, stating automatically adjust not more often than once every three years, the personal and
additional exemptions taking into account, among others, the movement in
consumer price indices, levels of minimum wages, and bare subsistence levels." It will also be observed that Rep. Act 7167 speaks of the adjustments that it provides
for, as adjustments "to the poverty threshold level". Certainly, "the poverty
As the personal and additional exemptions of individual taxpayers were last adjusted threshold level" is the poverty threshold level at the time Rep. Act 7167 was enacted
in 1986, the President, upon the recommendation of the Secretary of Finance, could by Congress, not poverty threshold levels in futuro, at which time there may be need
have adjusted the personal and additional exemptions in 1989 by increasing the of further adjustments in personal exemptions. Moreover, the Court can not lose
same even without any legislation providing for such adjustment. But the President sight of the fact that these personal and additional exemptions are fixed amounts to
did not. which an individual taxpayer is entitled, as a means to cushion the devastating
effects of high prices and a depreciated purchasing power of the currency. In the
However, House Bill 28970, which was subsequently enacted by Congress as Rep Act end, it is the lower-income and the middle-income groups of taxpayers (not the high-
7167, was introduced in the House of Representatives in 1989 although its passage income taxpayers) who stand to benefit most from the increase of personal and
was delayed and it did not become effective law until 30 January 1992. A perusal, additional exemptions provided for by Rep. Act 7167. To that extent, the act is a
however, of the sponsorship remarks of Congressman Hernando B. Perez, Chairman social legislation intended to alleviate in part the present economic plight of the
of the House Committee on Ways and Means, on House Bill 28970, provides an lower income taxpayers. It is intended to remedy the inadequacy of the heretofore
indication of the intent of Congress in enacting Rep. Act 7167. The pertinent existing personal and additional exemptions for individual taxpayers.
legislative journal contains the following.
And then, Rep. Act 7167 says that the increased personal exemptions that it provides
"At the outset, Mr. Perez explained that the Bill Provides for increased personal for shall be available thenceforth, that is, after Rep. Act 7167 shall have become
additional exemptions to individuals in view of the higher standard of living. effective. In other words, these exemptions are available upon the filing of personal
income tax returns which is, under the National Internal Revenue Code, done not
"The Bill, he stated, limits the amount of income of individuals subject to income tax later than the 15th day of April after the end of a calendar year. Thus, under Rep. Act
to enable them to spend for basic necessities and have more disposable income. 7167, which became effective, as aforestated, on 30 January 1992, the increased
exemptions are literally available on or before 15 April 1992 (though not before 30
xxx xxx xxx January 1992). But these increased exemptions can be available on 15 April 1992
only in respect of compensation income earned or received during the calendar year
"Mr. Perez added that inflation has raised the basic necessities and that it had been 1991.
three years since the last exemption adjustment in 1986.
The personal exemptions as increased by Rep. Act 7167 cannot be regarded as
xxx xxx xxx available in respect of compensation income received during the 1990 calendar year;
the tax due in respect of said income had already accrued, and been presumably
"Subsequently, Mr. Perez stressed the necessity of passing the measure to mitigate paid, by 15 April 1991 and by 15 July 1991, at which time Rep. Act 7167 had not
the effects of the current inflation and of the implementation of the salary been enacted. To make Rep. Act 7167 refer back to income received during 1990
standardization law. Stating that it is imperative for the government to take would require language explicitly retroactive in purport and effect, language that
measures to ease the burden of the individual income tax filers, Mr. Perez then cited would have to authorize the payment of refunds of taxes paid on 15 April 1991 and
specific examples of how the measure can help assuage the burden to the 15 July 1991: such language is simply not found in Rep. Act 7167.
taxpayers.
The personal exemptions as increased by Rep. Act 7167 cannot be regarded as
"He then reiterated that the increase in the prices of commodities has eroded the available only in respect of compensation income received during 1992, as the
purchasing power of the peso despite the recent salary increases and emphasized implementing Revenue Regulations No. 1-92 purport to provide. Revenue
that the Bill will serve to compensate the adverse effects of inflation on the Regulations No. 1-92 would in effect postpone the availability of the increased
taxpayers. . . . ." (Journal of the House of Representatives, May 23, 1990, pp. 32-33). exemptions to 1 January-15 April 1993, and thus literally defer the effectivity of Rep.
Act 7167 to 1 January 1993. Thus, the implementing regulations collide frontally with that a law becomes effective not on the date expressly provided for in said law, but
Section 3 of Rep. Act 7167 which states that the statute "shall take effect upon its on the date after fifteen (15) days from the publication in the Official Gazette or any
approval." The objective of the Secretary of Finance and the Commissioner of national newspaper of general circulation, I say obiter dictum because the doctrine
Internal Revenue in postponing through Revenue Regulations No. 1-92 the legal mentioned is not the actual issue in the case of Taada vs. Tuvera (supra). In that
effectivity of Rep. Act 7167 is, of course, entirely understandable to defer to 1993 case, several presidential decrees of President Marcos were issued, but they were
the reduction of governmental tax revenues which irresistibly follows from the never published in the Official Gazette or in any national newspaper of general
application of Rep. Act 7167. But the law-making authority has spoken and the Court circulation. The real issue therefore in said case was whether or not said Presidential
can not refuse to apply the law-maker's words. Whether or not the government can decrees ever became effective. The Court ruled with respect to this issue (and not
afford the drop in tax revenues resulting from such increased exemptions was for any other issue - since there was no other issue whatsoever), that said presidential
Congress (not this Court) to decide. decrees never became effective. In other words, the ratio decidendi in that case was
the ruling that without publication, there can be no effectivity. Thus, the statement
WHEREFORE, Sections 1, 3 and 5 of Revenue Regulations No. 1-92 which provide as to which should be applied "after fifteen (15) days from publication" or "unless
that the regulations shall take effect on compensation income earned or received otherwise provided by law" (Art. 2. Civil Code) was mere obiter. The subsequent
from 1 January 1992 are hereby SET ASIDE. They should take effect on compensation ruling in the resolution dated June 26, 1991 in Caltex, Inc. vs. Com. of Internal
income earned or received from 1 January 1991. Revenue cannot likewise apply because it was based on the aforesaid obiter in
Taada v. Tuvera (supra). In the instant tax exemptions case, the law says effective
Since this decision is promulgated after 15 April 1992, the individual taxpayers upon approval, therefore, since this law was approved by the President in December,
entitled to the increased exemptions on compensation income earned during 1991, its subsequent publication in the January 1992 issue of the Civil Code is
calendar year 1991 who may have filed their income tax returns on or before 15 actually immaterial.
April 1992 (later extended to 24 April 1992) without the benefit of such increased
exemptions, are entitled to the corresponding tax refunds and/or credits, and Art. 2 of the Civil Code which states:
respondents are ordered to effect such refunds and/or credits. No costs.
"Laws shall take effect after fifteen days following the completion of their publication
SO ORDERED. in the Official Gazette, unless it is otherwise provided. This Code shall take effect one
year after such publication."
Narvasa, (C.J.), Gutierrez, Jr., Feliciano, Bidin, Grio-Aquino, Medialdea, Regalado,
Davide, Jr., Romero, Nocon and Bellosillo, JJ., concur. It is very clear and needs no interpretation or construction.

Separate Opinions CRUZ, J., concurring:


As the ponente of Taada v. Tuvera, 146 SCRA 446. I should like to make these brief
PARAS, J., concurring and dissenting: observations on my brother Paras's separate opinion. He says that "the ratio
decidendi in that case was the ruling that without publication, there can be no
I wish to concur with the majority opinion penned in this case by Justice Teodoro effectivity." Yet, while accepting this, he contends that, pursuant to its terms, R.A.
Padilla, because I believe that the tax exemptions referred to in the law should be 7167 became effective upon approval (i.e., even without publication). He adds that
effective already with respect to the income earned for the year 1991. After all, even "since this law was approved by the President in December, 1991, its subsequent
if We say that the law became effective only in 1992, still this can refer only to the publication in the January 1992 issue of the Civil Code is actually immaterial." I
income obtained in 1991 since after all, what should be filed in 1992 is the income confess I am profoundly bemused.
tax return of the income earned in 1991.
Footnotes
However, I wish to dissent from the part of the decision which affirms the obiter
dictum enunciated in the case of Taada vs. Tuvera (146 SCRA 446, 452) to the effect 1. Before the enactment of Rep. Act 7167, Executive Order No. 37 approved by the
President on 31 July 1986, provided for the following personal and additional For purposes of this paragraph, a dependent means a legitimate, recognized natural
exemptions for individual taxpayers: or legally adopted child chiefly dependent upon and living with the taxpayer if such
dependent is not more than twenty-one (21) years of age, unmarried and not
(1) Personal exemptions allowable to individuals. (1) Basic personal exemption. For gainfully employed or if such dependent, regardless of age, is incapable of self-
the purpose of determining the tax provided in Section 21(a) of this Title, there shall support because of mental or physical defect.
be allowed a basic personal exemption as follows:

For single individual or married individual judicially decreed as legally separated with
no qualified dependents P 6,000.

For head of a family P7,500.


For married individual P12,000.

Provided, That husband and wife electing to compute their income tax separately
shall be entitled to a personal exemption of P6,000 each.

For purposes of this paragraph, the term 'Head of Family' means an unmarried or
legally separated man or woman with one or both parents, or with one or more
brothers or sisters, or with one or more legitimate, recognized natural or legally
adopted children living with and dependent upon him' for their chief support, where
such brothers or sisters or children are not more than twenty-one (21) years of age,
unmarried and not gainfully employed or where such children, brothers or sisters,
regardless of age are incapable of self-support because of mental or physical defect.

(2) Additional exemption.

(A) Taxpayers with dependents. A married individual or a head of family shall be


allowed an additional exemption of Three thousand pesos (P3,000) for each
dependent: Provided, That the total number of dependents for which additional
exemptions may be claimed shall not exceed four dependents: Provided, further,
That an additional exemption of One thousand pesos (P1,000) shall be allowed for
each child who otherwise qualified as dependent prior to January 1, 1980: and
Provided, finally, That the additional exemption for dependents shall be claimed by
only one of the spouses in the case of married individuals electing to compute their
income tax liabilities separately.

In case of legally separated spouses, additional exemptions may be claimed only by


the spouse who was awarded custody of the child or children. Provided, That the
total amount of additional exemptions that may be claimed by both shall not exceed
the maximum additional exemptions herein allowed:
FELISA P. DE ROY and VIRGILIO RAMOS, petitioners, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and LUIS
This Court finds that the Court of Appeals did not commit a grave abuse of discretion
BERNAL, SR., GLENIA BERNAL, LUIS BERNAL, JR., HEIRS OF MARISSA BERNAL, namely, when it denied petitioners' motion for extension of time to file a motion for
reconsideration, directed entry of judgment and denied their motion for
GLICERIA DELA CRUZ BERNAL and LUIS BERNAL, SR., respondents. reconsideration. It correctly applied the rule laid down in Habaluyas Enterprises, Inc.
G.R. No. 80718 | 1988-01-29 v. Japzon, [G.R. No. 70895, August 5, 1985, 138 SCRA 46], that the fifteen-day period
for appealing or for filing a motion for reconsideration cannot be extended. In its
R E S O L U T I O N Resolution denying the motion for reconsideration, promulgated on May 30, 1986
(142 SCRA 208), this Court en banc restated and clarified the rule, to wit:

CORTES, J.: Beginning one month after the promulgation of this Resolution, the rule shall be
strictly enforced that no motion for extension of time to file a motion for
This special civil action for certiorari seeks to declare null and void two (2) resolutions reconsideration may be filed with the Metropolitan or Municipal Trial Courts, the
of the Special Division of the Court of Appeals in the Luis Bernal, Sr., et al. v. Felisa Regional Trial Courts, and the Intermediate Appellate Court. Such a motion may be
Perdosa De Roy, et al., CA-G.R. CV No. 07286. The first resolution promulgated on 30 filed only in cases pending with the Supreme Court as the court of last resort, which
September 1987 denied petitioner's motion for extension of time to file a motion for may in its sound discretion either grant or deny the extension requested. (at p. 212)
reconsideration and directed entry of judgment since the decision in said case had
become final; and the second Resolution dated 27 October 1987 denied petitioners' Lacsamana v. Second Special Cases Division of the Intermediate Appellate Court, [G.R.
motion for reconsideration for having been filed out of time. No. 73146-53, August 26, 1986, 143 SCRA 643], reiterated the rule and went further
to restate and clarify the modes and periods of appeal.
At the outset, this Court could have denied the petition outright for not being verified
as required by Rule 65 section 1 of the Rules of Court. However, even if the instant Bacaya v. Intermediate Appellate Court, [G.R. No. 74824, Sept. 16, 1985, 144 SCRA
petition did not suffer from this defect, this Court, on procedural and substantive 161], stressed the prospective application of said rule, and explained the operation of
grounds, would still resolve to deny it. the grace period, to wit:

The facts of the case are undisputed. The firewall of a burnedout building owned by In other words, there is one-month grace period from the promulgation on May 30,
petitioners collapsed and destroyed the tailoring shop occupied by the family of 1986 of the Court's Resolution in the clarificatory Habaluyas case, or up to June 30,
private respondents, resulting in injuries to private respondents and the death of 1986, within which the rule barring extensions of time to file motions for new trial or
Marissa Bernal, a daughter. Private respondents had been warned by petitioners to reconsideration is, as yet, not strictly enforceable.
vacate their shop in view of its proximity to the weakened wall but the former failed
to do so. On the basis of the foregoing facts, the Regional Trial Court. First Judicial Since petitioners herein filed their motion for extension on February 27, 1986, it is still
Region, Branch XXXVIII, presided by the Hon. Antonio M. Belen, rendered judgment within the grace period, which expired on June 30, 1986, and may still be allowed.
finding petitioners guilty of gross negligence and awarding damages to private
respondents. On appeal, the decision of the trial court was affirmed in toto by the This grace period was also applied in Mission v. Intermediate Appellate Court [G.R. No.
Court of Appeals in a decision promulgated on August 17, 1987, a copy of which was 73669, October 28, 1986, 145 SCRA 306].
received by petitioners on August 25, 1987. On September 9, 1987, the last day of the
fifteen-day period to file an appeal, petitioners filed a motion for extension of time to In the instant case, however, petitioners' motion for extension of time was filed on
file a motion for reconsideration, which was eventually denied by the appellate court September 9, 1987, more than a year after the expiration of the grace period on June
in the Resolution of September 30, 1987. Petitioners filed their motion for 30, 1986. Hence, it is no longer within the coverage of the grace period. Considering
reconsideration on September 24, 1987 but this was denied in the Resolution of the length of time from the expiration of the grace period to the promulgation of the
October 27, 1987. decision of the Court of Appeals on August 25, 1987, petitioners cannot seek refuge
in the ignorance of their counsel regarding said rule for their failure to file a motion Republic of the Philippines
for reconsideration within the reglementary period. SUPREME COURT
Manila
Petitioners contend that the rule enunciated in the Habaluyas case should not be
made to apply to the case at bar owing to the non-publication of the Habaluyas SECOND DIVISION
decision in the Official Gazette as of the time the subject decision of the Court of
Appeals was promulgated. Contrary to petitioners' view, there is no law requiring the G.R. No. L-30061 February 27, 1974
publication of Supreme Court decisions in the Official Gazette before they can be
binding and as a condition to their becoming effective. It is the bounden duty of
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellees,
counsel as lawyer in active law practice to keep abreast of decisions of the Supreme
vs.
Court particularly where issues have been clarified, consistently reiterated, and
JOSE JABINAL Y CARMEN, defendant-appellant.
published in the advance reports of Supreme Court decisions (G.R.s) and in such
publications as the Supreme Court Reports Annotated (SCRA) and law journals.
Office of the Solicitor General Felix V. Makasiar and Solicitor Antonio M. Martinez for
plaintiff-appellee.
This Court likewise finds that the Court of Appeals committed no grave abuse of
discretion in affirming the trial court's decision holding petitioner liable under Article
2190 of the Civil Code, which provides that "the proprietor of a building or structure Pedro Panganiban y Tolentino for defendant-appellant.
is responsible for the damage resulting from its total or partial collapse, if it should be
due to the lack of necessary repairs." ANTONIO, J.:p

Nor was there error in rejecting petitioners argument that private respondents had Appeal from the judgment of the Municipal Court of Batangas (provincial capital),
the "last clear chance" to avoid the accident if only they heeded the warning to vacate Batangas, in Criminal Case No. 889, finding the accused guilty of the crime of Illegal
the tailoring shop and, therefore, petitioners prior negligence should be disregarded, Possession of Firearm and Ammunition and sentencing him to suffer an indeterminate
since the doctrine of "last clear chance," which has been applied to vehicular penalty ranging from one (1) year and one (1) day to two (2) years imprisonment, with
accidents, is inapplicable to this case. the accessories provided by law, which raises in issue the validity of his conviction
based on a retroactive application of Our ruling in People v. Mapa.1
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the Court Resolved to DENY the instant petition
for lack of merit. The complaint filed against the accused reads:

That on or about 9:00 o'clock, p.m., the 5th day of September, 1964,
in the poblacion, Municipality of Batangas, Province of Batangas,
Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the
above-named accused, a person not authorized by law, did then and
there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously keep in his possession,
custody and direct control a revolver Cal. .22, RG8 German Made
with one (1) live ammunition and four (4) empty shells without first
securing the necessary permit or license to possess the same.

At the arraignment on September 11, 1964, the accused entered a plea of not guilty,
after which trial was accordingly held.
The accused admitted that on September 5, 1964, he was in possession of the revolver Make: German
and the ammunition described in the complaint, without the requisite license or
permit. He, however, claimed to be entitled to exoneration because, although he had SN: 64
no license or permit, he had an appointment as Secret Agent from the Provincial
Governor of Batangas and an appointment as Confidential Agent from the PC Cal: .22
Provincial Commander, and the said appointments expressly carried with them the
authority to possess and carry the firearm in question.
On March 15, 1964, the accused was also appointed by the PC Provincial Commander
of Batangas as Confidential Agent with duties to furnish information regarding
Indeed, the accused had appointments from the above-mentioned officials as claimed smuggling activities, wanted persons, loose firearms, subversives and other similar
by him. His appointment from Governor Feliciano Leviste, dated December 10, 1962, subjects that might affect the peace and order condition in Batangas province, and in
reads: connection with these duties he was temporarily authorized to possess a ROHM
revolver, Cal. .22 RG-8 SN-64, for his personal protection while in the performance of
Reposing special trust and confidence in your civic spirit, and his duties.
trusting that you will be an effective agent in the detection of crimes
and in the preservation of peace and order in the province of The accused contended before the court a quo that in view of his above-mentioned
Batangas, especially with respect to the suppression of trafficking in appointments as Secret Agent and Confidential Agent, with authority to possess the
explosives, jueteng, illegal cockfighting, cattle rustling, robbery and firearm subject matter of the prosecution, he was entitled to acquittal on the basis of
the detection of unlicensed firearms, you are hereby appointed the Supreme Court's decision in People vs. Macarandang2 and People vs. Lucero.3 The
a SECRET AGENT of the undersigned, the appointment to take effect trial court, while conceding on the basis of the evidence of record the accused had
immediately, or as soon as you have qualified for the position. As really been appointed Secret Agent and Confidential Agent by the Provincial Governor
such Secret Agent, your duties shall be those generally of a peace and the PC Provincial Commander of Batangas, respectively, with authority to possess
officer and particularly to help in the preservation of peace and and carry the firearm described in the complaint, nevertheless held the accused in its
order in this province and to make reports thereon to me once or decision dated December 27, 1968, criminally liable for illegal possession of a firearm
twice a month. It should be clearly understood that any abuse of and ammunition on the ground that the rulings of the Supreme Court in the cases
authority on your part shall be considered sufficient ground for the of Macarandang and Lucero were reversed and abandoned in People vs. Mapa, supra.
automatic cancellation of your appointment and immediate The court considered as mitigating circumstances the appointments of the accused as
separation from the service. In accordance with the decision of the Secret Agent and Confidential Agent.
Supreme Court in G.R. No. L-12088 dated December 23, 1959, you
will have the right to bear a firearm, particularly described below,
Let us advert to Our decisions in People v. Macarandang, supra, People v. Lucero,
for use in connection with the performance of your duties.
supra, and People v. Mapa, supra. In Macarandang, We reversed the trial court's
judgment of conviction against the accused because it was shown that at the time he
By virtue hereof, you may qualify and enter upon the performance was found to possess a certain firearm and ammunition without license or permit, he
of your duties by taking your oath of office and filing the original had an appointment from the Provincial Governor as Secret Agent to assist in the
thereof with us.Very truly yours,(Sgd.) FELICIANO LEVISTE maintenance of peace and order and in the detection of crimes, with authority to hold
Provincial Governor and carry the said firearm and ammunition. We therefore held that while it is true that
the Governor has no authority to issue any firearm license or permit, nevertheless,
FIREARM AUTHORIZED TO CARRY: section 879 of the Revised Administrative Code provides that "peace officers" are
exempted from the requirements relating to the issuance of license to possess
Kind: ROHM-Revolver firearms; and Macarandang's appointment as Secret Agent to assist in the
maintenance of peace and order and detection of crimes, sufficiently placed him in
the category of a "peace officer" equivalent even to a member of the municipal police "Judicial decisions applying or interpreting the laws or the Constitution shall form a
who under section 879 of the Revised Administrative Code are exempted from the part of the legal system ... ." The interpretation upon a law by this Court constitutes,
requirements relating to the issuance of license to possess firearms. In Lucero, We in a way, a part of the law as of the date that law originally passed, since this Court's
held that under the circumstances of the case, the granting of the temporary use of construction merely establishes the contemporaneous legislative intent that law thus
the firearm to the accused was a necessary means to carry out the lawful purpose of construed intends to effectuate. The settled rule supported by numerous authorities
the batallion commander to effect the capture of a Huk leader. In Mapa, expressly is a restatement of legal maxim "legis interpretatio legis vim obtinet" the
abandoning the doctrine in Macarandang, and by implication, that in Lucero, We interpretation placed upon the written law by a competent court has the force of law.
sustained the judgment of conviction on the following ground: The doctrine laid down in Lucero and Macarandang was part of the jurisprudence,
hence of the law, of the land, at the time appellant was found in possession of the
The law is explicit that except as thereafter specifically allowed, "it firearm in question and when he arraigned by the trial court. It is true that the doctrine
shall be unlawful for any person to ... possess any firearm, detached was overruled in the Mapa case in 1967, but when a doctrine of this Court is overruled
parts of firearms or ammunition therefor, or any instrument or and a different view is adopted, the new doctrine should be applied prospectively, and
implement used or intended to be used in the manufacture of should not apply to parties who had relied on the old doctrine and acted on the faith
firearms, parts of firearms, or ammunition." (Sec. 878, as amended thereof. This is especially true in the construction and application of criminal laws,
by Republic Act No. 4, Revised Administrative Code.) The next where it is necessary that the punishability of an act be reasonably foreseen for the
section provides that "firearms and ammunition regularly and guidance of society.
lawfully issued to officers, soldiers, sailors, or marines [of the Armed
Forces of the Philippines], the Philippine Constabulary, guards in the It follows, therefore, that considering that appellant conferred his appointments as
employment of the Bureau of Prisons, municipal police, provincial Secret Agent and Confidential Agent and authorized to possess a firearm pursuant to
governors, lieutenant governors, provincial treasurers, municipal the prevailing doctrine enunciated in Macarandang and Lucero, under which no
treasurers, municipal mayors, and guards of provincial prisoners criminal liability would attach to his possession of said firearm in spite of the absence
and jails," are not covered "when such firearms are in possession of of a license and permit therefor, appellant must be absolved. Certainly, appellant may
such officials and public servants for use in the performance of their not be punished for an act which at the time it was done was held not to be
official duties." (Sec. 879, Revised Administrative Code.) punishable.

The law cannot be any clearer. No provision is made for a secret WHEREFORE, the judgment appealed from is hereby reversed, and appellant is
agent. As such he is not exempt. ... . acquitted, with costs de oficio.

It will be noted that when appellant was appointed Secret Agent by the Provincial
Government in 1962, and Confidential Agent by the Provincial Commander in 1964,
the prevailing doctrine on the matter was that laid down by Us in People v.
Macarandang (1959) and People v. Lucero (1958). Our decision in People v.
Mapa reversing the aforesaid doctrine came only in 1967. The sole question in this
appeal is: Should appellant be acquitted on the basis of Our rulings
in Macarandang and Lucero, or should his conviction stand in view of the complete
reversal of the Macarandang and Lucero doctrine in Mapa? The Solicitor General is of
the first view, and he accordingly recommends reversal of the appealed judgment.

Decisions of this Court, although in themselves not laws, are nevertheless evidence of
what the laws mean, and this is the reason why under Article 8 of the New Civil Code
exhausted.
IN THE MATTER OF THE TESTATE ESTATE OF EDWARD E. CHRISTENSEN, DECEASED.
ADOLFO C. AZNAR, Executor and LUCY CHRISTENSEN, Heir of the deceased, Executor xxx xxx xxx
and Heir-appellees, vs. HELEN CHRISTENSEN GARCIA, oppositor-appellant. "12. I hereby give devise and bequeath unto my well-beloved daughter, the said Maris
G.R. No. L-16749 | 1963-01-31 Lucy Christensen Daney (Mrs. Bernard Daney), now residing as aforesaid at No. 665
Rodger Young Village, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A., all the income from the rest,
DECISION remainder, and residue of my property and estate, real, personal and/or mixed, of
whatsoever kind or character, and wheresoever situated, of which I may be possessed
LABRADOR, J.: at my death and which may have come to me from any source whatsoever, during her
lifetime: . . ."
This is an appeal from a decision of the Court of First Instance of Davao, Hon. Vicente It is in accordance with the above-quoted provisions that the executor in his final
N. Cusi, Jr., presiding, in Special Proceeding No. 622 of said court, dated September account and project partition ratified the payment of only P3,600 to Helen Christensen
14, 1949, approving among other things the final accounts of the executor, directing Garcia and proposed that the residue of the estate be transferred to his daughter,
the executor to reimburse Maria Lucy Christensen the amount of P3,600 paid by her Maria Lucy Christensen.
to Helen Christensen Garcia as her legacy, and declaring Maria Lucy Christensen
entitled to the residue of the property to be enjoyed during her lifetime, and in case Opposition to the approval of the project of partition was filed by Helen Christensen
of death without issue, one-half of said residue to be payable to Mrs. Carrie Louise C. Garcia, insofar as it deprives her (Helen) of her legitime as an acknowledged natural
Borton, etc., in accordance with the provisions of the will of the testator Edward E. child, she having been declared by Us in G.R. Nos. L-11483-84 an acknowledged
Christensen. The will was executed in Manila on March 5, 1951 and contains the natural child of the deceased Edward E. Christensen. The legal grounds of opposition
following provisions: are (a) that the distribution should be governed by the laws of the Philippines, and (b)
that said order of distribution is contrary thereto insofar as it denies to Helen
Christensen, one of two acknowledged natural children, one-half of the estate in full
"3. I declare . . . that I have but one (1) child, named Maria Lucy Christensen (now Mrs. ownership. In amplification of the above grounds it was alleged that the law that
Bernard Daney), who was born in the Philippines about twenty-eight years ago, and should govern the estate of the deceased Christensen should not be the internal law
who is now residing at No. 665 Rodger Young Village, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. of California alone, but the entire law thereof because several foreign elements are
involved, that the forum is the Philippines and even if the case were decided in
"4. I further declare that I now have no living ascendants, and no descendents except California, Section 946 of the California Civil Code, which requires that the domicile of
my above named daughter, Maria Lucy Christensen Daney. the decedent apply, should be applicable. It was also alleged that Maria Helen
Christensen having been declared an acknowledged natural child of the decedent, she
xxx xxx xxx is deemed for all purposes legitimate from the time of her birth.

"7. I give, devise and bequeath unto Maria Helen Christensen, now married to Eduardo The court below ruled that as Edward E. Christensen was a citizen of the United States
Garcia, about eighteen years of age and who, notwithstanding the fact that she was and of the State of California at the time of his death, the successional rights and
baptized Christensen, is not in any way related to me, nor has she been at any time intrinsic validity of the provisions in his will are to be governed by the law of California,
adopted by me, and who, from all information I have now resides in Egpit, Digos, in accordance with which a testator has the right to dispose of his property in the way
Davao, Philippines, the sum of Three Thousand Six Hundred Pesos (P3,600.00), he desires, because the right of absolute dominion over his property is sacred and
Philippine Currency, the same to be deposited in trust for the said Maria Helen inviolable (In re McDaniel's Estate, 77 Cal. Appl. 2d 877, 176 P. 2d 952, and In re
Christensen with the Davao Branch of the Philippine National Bank, and paid to her at Kaufman, 117 Cal. 286, 49 Pac. 192, cited in page 179, Record on Appeal). Oppositor
the rate of One Hundred Pesos (P100.00), Philippine Currency per month until the Maria Helen Christensen, through counsel, filed various motions for reconsideration,
principal thereof as well as any interest which may have accrued thereon, is but these were denied. Hence this appeal.
The most important assignments of error are as follows: in 1928, he again departed the Philippines for the United States and came back here
the following year, 1929. Some nine years later, in 1938, he again returned to his own
I country, and came back to the Philippines the following year, 1939.
THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN IGNORING THE DECISION OF THE HONORABLE
SUPREME COURT THAT HELEN IS THE ACKNOWLEDGED NATURAL CHILD OF "Being an American citizen, Mr. Christensen was interned by the Japanese Military
EDWARD E. CHRISTENSEN AND, CONSEQUENTLY, IN DEPRIVING HER OF HER JUST Forces in the Philippines during World War II. Upon liberation, in April 1945, he left for
SHARE IN THE INHERITANCE. the United States but returned to the Philippines in December, 1945. Appellees'
II Collective Exhibits '6', CFI Davao, Sp. Proc. 622. as Exhibits 'AA', 'BB' and 'CC-Daney';
THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN ENTIRELY IGNORING AND/OR FAILING TO RECOGNIZE Exhs. 'MM', 'MM-1', 'MM-2-Daney', and p. 473, t.s.n., July 21, 1953.
THE EXISTENCE OF SEVERAL FACTORS, ELEMENTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES CALLING FOR
THE APPLICATION OF INTERNATIONAL LAW. "In April, 1951, Edward E. Christensen returned once more to California shortly after
III the making of his last will and testament (now in question herein) which he executed
THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN FAILING TO RECOGNIZE THAT UNDER INTERNATIONAL at his lawyers' offices in Manila on March 5, 1951. He died at the St. Luke's Hospital in
LAW, PARTICULARLY UNDER THE RENVOI DOCTRINE, THE INTRINSIC VALIDITY OF THE the City of Manila on April 30, 1953." (Pp. 2-3)
TESTAMENTARY DISPOSITION OR THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE ESTATE OF THE In arriving at the conclusion that the domicile of the deceased is the Philippines, we
DECEASED EDWARD E. CHRISTENSEN SHOULD BE GOVERNED BY THE LAWS OF THE are persuaded by the fact that he was born in New York, migrated to California and
PHILIPPINES. resided there for nine years, and since he came to the Philippines in 1913 he returned
IV to California very rarely and only for short visits (perhaps to relatives), and considering
THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN NOT DECLARING THAT THE SCHEDULE OF DISTRIBUTION that he appears never to have owned or acquired a home or properties in that state,
SUBMITTED BY THE EXECUTOR IS CONTRARY TO THE PHILIPPINE LAWS. which would indicate that he would ultimately abandon the Philippines and make
V home in the State of California.
THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN NOT DECLARING THAT UNDER THE PHILIPPINE LAWS
HELEN CHRISTENSEN GARCIA IS ENTITLED TO ONE-HALF (1/2) OF THE ESTATE IN FULL
OWNERSHIP. "Sec. 16. Residence is a term used with many shades of meaning from mere temporary
There is no question that Edward E. Christensen was a citizen of the United States and presence to the most permanent abode. Generally, however, it is used to denote
of the State of California at the time of his death. But there is also no question that at something more than mere physical presence." (Goodrich on Conflict of Laws, p. 29)
the time of his death he was domiciled in the Philippines, as witness the following facts
admitted by the executor himself in appellee's brief: As to his citizenship, however, we find that the citizenship that he acquired in
California when he resided in Sacramento, California from 1904 to 1913, was never
"In the proceedings for admission of the will to probate, the facts of record show that lost by his stay in the Philippines, for the latter was a territory of the United States (not
the deceased Edward E. Christensen was born on November 29, 1875, in New York a state) until 1946 and the deceased appears to have considered himself as a citizen
City, N. Y., U.S.A.; his first arrival in the Philippines, as an appointed school teacher, of California by the fact that when he executed his will in 1951 he declared that he
was on July 1, 1901, on board the U.S. Army Transport 'Sheridan' with Port of was a citizen of that Estate; so that he appears never to have intended to abandon his
Embarkation as the City of San Francisco, in the State of California, U.S.A. He stayed in California citizenship by acquiring another. This conclusion is in accordance with the
the Philippines until 1904. following principle expounded by Goodrich in his Conflict of Laws.

"In December, 1904, Mr. Christensen returned to the United States and stayed there "The terms 'residence' and 'domicile' might well be taken to mean the same thing, a
for the following nine years until 1913, during which time he resided in, and was place of permanent abode. But domicile, as has been shown, has acquired a technical
teaching school in Sacramento, California. meaning. Thus one may be domiciled in a place where he has never been. And he may
reside in a place where he has no domicile. The man with two homes, between which
"Mr. Christensen's next arrival in the Philippines was in July of the year 1913. However, he divides his time, certainly resides in each one, while living in it. But if he went on
business which would require his presence for several weeks or months, he might is deemed to follow the person of its owner, and is governed by the law of his
properly be said to have sufficient connection with the place to be called a resident. It domicile."
is clear, however, that, if he treated his settlement as continuing only for the particular The existence of this provision is alleged in appellant's opposition and is not denied.
business in hand, not giving up his former "home," he could not be a domiciled New We have checked it in the California Civil Code and it is there. Appellee, on the other
Yorker. Acquisition of a domicile of choice requires the exercise of intention as well as hand, relies on the case cited in the decision and testified to by a witness. (Only the
physical presence. Residence simply requires bodily presence as an inhabitant in a case Kaufman is correctly cited.) It is argued on executor's behalf that as the deceased
given place, while domicile requires bodily presence in that place and also an intention Christensen was a citizen of the State of California, the internal law thereof, which is
to make it one's domicile.' Residence, however, is a term used with many shades of that given in the above-cited case, should govern the determination of the validity of
meaning, from the merest temporary presence to the most permanent abode, and it the testamentary provisions of Christensen's will, such law being in force in the State
is not safe to insist that any one use is the only proper one." (Goodrich, p. 29) of California of which Christensen was a citizen. Appellant, on the other hand, insists
that Article 946 should be applicable, and in accordance therewith and following the
The law that governs the validity of his testamentary dispositions is defined in Article doctrine of renvoi, the question of the validity of the testamentary provision in
16 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, which is as follows: question should be referred back to the law of the decedent's domicile, which is the
Philippines.
"ART. 16. Real property as well as personal property is subject to the law of the country
where it is situated. The theory or doctrine of renvoi has been defined by various authors, thus:

"However, intestate and testamentary successions, both with respect to the order of
succession and to the amount of successional rights and to the intrinsic validity of "The problem has been stated in this way: 'When the Conflict of Laws rule of the forum
testamentary provisions, shall be regulated by the national law of the person whose refers a jural matter to a foreign law for decision, is the reference to the corresponding
succession is under consideration, whatever may be the nature of the property and rule of the Conflict of Law of that foreign law, or is the reference to the purely internal
regardless of the country wherein said property may be found." rules of law of the foreign system; i.e., to the totality of the foreign law, minus its
The application of this article in the case at bar requires the determination of the Conflict of Laws rules?
meaning of the term "national law" as used therein.
"On logic, the solution is not an easy one. The Michigan court chose to accept the
There is no single American law governing the validity of testamentary provisions in renvoi, that is, applied the Conflict of Laws rule of Illinois which referred the matter
the United States, each State of the Union having its own private law applicable to its back to Michigan law. But once having determined that the Conflict of Laws principle
citizens only and in force only within the state. The "national law" indicated in Article is the rule looked to, it is difficult to see why the reference back should not have been
16 of the Civil Code above quoted can not, therefore, possibly mean or apply to any to Michigan Conflict of Laws. This would have resulted in the 'endless chain of
general American law. So it can refer to no other than the private law of the state of references' which has so often been criticized by legal writers. The opponents of the
which the decedent is a citizen, in the case at bar, the private law of the State of renvoi would have looked merely to the internal law of Illinois, thus rejecting the
California. renvoi or the reference back. Yet there seems no compelling logical reason why the
original reference should be to the internal law rather than to the Conflict of Laws rule.
The next question is: What is the law in California governing the disposition of personal It is true that such a solution avoids going on a merry-go-round, but those who have
property? The decision of the court below, sustains the contention of the executor- accepted the renvoi theory avoid this inextricabilis circulas by getting off at the second
appellee that under the California Probate Code, a testator may dispose of his reference and at that point applying internal law. Perhaps the opponents of the renvoi
property by will in the form and manner he desires, citing the case of Estate of are a bit more consistent for they look always to internal law as the rule of reference.
McDaniel, 77 Cal. Appl. 2d 877, 176 P. 2d 952. But appellant invokes the provisions of "Strangely enough, both the advocates for and the objectors to the renvoi plead that
Article 946 of the Civil Code of California, which is as follows: greater uniformity will result from adoption of their respective views. And still more
strange is the fact that the only way to achieve uniformity in this choice-of-law
"If there is no law to the contrary, in the place where personal property is situated, it problem is if in the dispute the two states whose laws form the legal basis of the
litigation disagree as to whether the renvoi should be accepted. If both reject, or both
accept the doctrine, the result of the litigation will vary with the choice of the forum. "After a decision has been arrived at that a foreign law is to be resorted to as governing
In the case stated above, had the Michigan court rejected the renvoi, judgment would a particular case, the further question may arise: Are the rules as to the conflict of laws
have been against the woman; if the suit had been brought in the Illinois courts, and contained in such foreign law also to be resorted to? This is a question which, while it
they too rejected the renvoi, judgment would be for the woman. The same result has been considered by the courts in but a few instances, has been the subject of
would happen, though the courts would switch with respect to which would hold frequent discussion by textwriters and essayists; and the doctrine involved has been
liability, if both courts accepted the renvoi. descriptively designated by them as the 'Renvoyer' to send back, or the
Ruchversweisung', or the 'Weiterverweisung', since an affirmative answer to the
"The Restatement accepts the renvoi theory in two instances: where the title to land question postulated and the operation of the adoption of the foreign law in toto would
is in question, and where the validity of a decree of divorce is challenged. In these in many cases result in returning the main controversy to be decided according to the
cases, the Conflict of Laws rule of the situs of the land, or the domicile of the parties law of the forum . . . (15 C.J.S. 872.)
in the divorce case, is applied by the forum, but any further reference goes only to the
internal law. Thus, a person's title to land, recognized by the situs, will be recognized "Another theory, known as the 'doctrine of renvoi', has been advanced. The theory of
by every court; and every divorce, valid by the domicile of the parties, will be valid the doctrine of renvoi is that the court of the forum, in determining the question
everywhere." (Goodrich, Conflict of Laws, Sec. 7, pp. 13-14.) before it, must take into account the whole law of the other jurisdiction, but also its
rules as to conflict of laws, and then apply the law to the actual question which the
"X, a citizen of Massachusetts, dies intestate, domiciled in France, leaving movable rules of the other jurisdiction prescribe. This may be the law of the forum. The doctrine
property in Massachusetts, England, and France. The question arises as to how this of the renvoi has generally been repudiated by the American authorities." (2 Am. Jur.
property is to be distributed among X's next of kin. 296.)
The scope of the theory of renvoi has also been defined and the reasons for its
application in a country explained by Prof. Lorenzen in an article in the Yale Law
"Assume (1) that this question arises in a Massachusetts court. There the rule of the Journal, Vol. 27, 1917-1918, pp. 509-531. The pertinent parts of the article are quoted
conflict of laws as to intestate succession to movables calls for an application of the herein below:
law of the deceased's last domicile. Since by hypothesis X's last domicile was France,
the natural thing for the Massachusetts court to do would be to turn to French statute "The recognition of the renvoi theory implies that the rules of the conflict of laws are
of distributions, or whatever corresponds thereto in French law, and decree a to be understood as incorporating not only the ordinary or internal law of the foreign
distribution accordingly. An examination of French law, however, would show that if state or country, but its rules of the conflict of laws as well. According to this theory
a French court were called upon to determine how this property should be distributed, 'the law of a country' means the whole of its law.
it would refer the distribution to the national law of the deceased, thus applying the
Massachusetts state of distributions. So on the surface of things the Massachusetts xxx xxx xxx
court has open to it alternative course of action: (a) either to apply the French laws as "Von Bar presented his views at the meeting of the institute of International Law, at
to intestate succession, or (b) to resolve itself into a French court and apply the Neuchatel, in 1900, in the form of the following theses:
Massachusetts statute of distributions, on the assumption that this is what a French "(1) Every court shall observe the law of its country as regards the application of
court would do. If it accepts the so-called renvoi doctrine, it will follow the latter foreign laws.
course, thus applying its own law.
"(2) Provided that no express provision to the contrary exists, the court shall respect:
"This is one type of renvoi. A jural matter is presented which the conflict-of-laws rule
of the forum refers to a foreign law, the conflict-of-laws rule of which, in turn refers "(a) The provisions of a foreign law which disclaims the right to bind its nationals
the matter back again to the law of the forum. This is renvoi in the narrower sense. abroad as regards their personal statute, and desires that said personal statute shall
The German term for this judicial process is 'Ruckverweisung.'" (Harvard Law Review, be determined by law of the domicile, or even by the law of the place where the act
Vol. 31, pp. 523-571.) in question occurred.
California have prescribed two sets of laws for its citizens, one for residents therein
"(b) The decision of two or more foreign systems of law, provided it be certain that and another for those domiciled in other jurisdictions. Reason demands that We
one of them is necessarily competent, which agree in attributing the determination of should enforce the California internal law prescribed for its citizens residing therein,
a question to the same system of law. and enforce the conflict of law rules law for the citizens domiciled abroad. If we must
xxx xxx xxx enforce the law of California as in comity we are bound to do, as so declared in Article
"If, for example, the English Law directs its judge to distribute the personal estate of 16 of our Civil Code, then we must enforce the law of California in accordance with
an Englishman who has died domiciled in Belgium in accordance with the law of his the express mandate thereof and as above explained, i.e., apply the internal law for
domicile, he must first inquire whether the law of Belgium would distribute personal residents therein, and its conflict of laws rule for those domiciled abroad.
property upon death in accordance with the law of domicile, and if he finds that the
Belgian law would make the distribution in accordance with the law of nationality - It is argued on appellees behalf that the clause "if there is no law to the contrary in
that is the English law, - he must accept this reference back to his own law." the place where the property is situated" in Sec. 946 of the California Civil Code refers
We note that Article 946 of the California Civil Code as its conflict of laws rule, while to Article 16 of the Civil Code of the Philippines and that the law to the contrary in the
the rule applied in In re Kaufman, supra, its internal law. If the law on succession and Philippines is the provision in said Article 16 that the national of the deceased should
the conflict of law rules of California are to be enforced jointly, each in its own govern. This contention can not be sustained. As explained in the various authorities
intended and appropriate sphere, the principle cited In re Kaufman should apply to cited above the national law mentioned in Article 16 of our Civil Code is the law on
citizens living in the State, but Article 946 should apply to such of its citizens as are not conflict of laws in the California Civil Code, i.e., Article 946, which authorizes the
domiciled in California but in other jurisdictions. The rule laid down of resorting to the reference or return of the question to the law of the testator's domicile. The conflict
law of the domicile in the determination of matters with foreign element involved is of law rule in California, Article 946, Civil Code, precisely refers back the case, when a
in accord with the general principle of American law that the domiciliary law should decedent is not domiciled in California, to the law of his domicile, the Philippines in
govern in most matters or rights which follow the person of the owner. the case at bar. The court of the domicile can not and should not refer the case back
to California; such action would leave the issue incapable of determination because
When a man dies leaving personal property in one or more estates, and leaves a will the case will then be like a football, tossed back and forth between the two states,
directing the manner of distribution of the property, the law of the state where he between the country of which the decedent was a citizen and the country of his
was domiciled at the time of his death will be looked to in deciding legal questions domicile. The Philippine court must apply its own law as directed in the conflict of law
about the will, almost as completely as the law of the situs is consulted in questions rule of the state of the decedent, if the question has to be decided, especially as the
about the devise of land. It is logical that, since the domiciliary rules control devolution application of the internal law of California provides no legitime for children while the
of the personal estate in case of intestate succession, the same rules should determine Philippine law, Arts. 887 (4) and 894, Civil Code of the Philippines, makes natural
the validity of an attempted testamentary disposition of the property. Here, also, it is children legally acknowledged forced heirs of the parent recognizing them.
not that the domiciliary has effect beyond the borders of the domiciliary state. The
rules of the domicile are recognized as controlling by the Conflict of Laws rules at the The Philippine cases (In Re Estate of Johnson, 39 Phil., 156; Riera vs. Palmaroli, 40 Phil.,
situs of the property, and the reason for the recognition as in the case of intestate 105; Miciano vs. Brimo, 50 Phil., 867; Babcock Templeton vs. Rider Babcock, 52 Phil.,
succession, is the general convenience of the doctrine. The New York court has said 130; and Gibbs vs. Government, 59 Phil., 293.) cited by appellees to support the
on the point; 'The general principle that a disposition of personal property valid at the decision can not possibly apply in the case at bar, for two important reasons, i.e., the
domicile of the owner, is valid everywhere, is one of universal application. It had its subject in each case does not appear to be a citizen of a state in the United States but
origin in that international comity which was one of the first fruits of civilization, and with domicile in the Philippines, and it does not appear in each case that there exists
in this age, when business intercourse and the process of accumulating property take in the state of which the subject is a citizen, a law similar to or identical with Art. 946
but little notice of boundary lines, the practical wisdom and justice of the rule is more of the California Civil Code.
apparent than ever.'" (Goodrich, Conflict of Laws, Sec. 164, pp. 442-443.)
We therefore find that as the domicile of the deceased Christensen, a citizen of
Appellees argue that what Article 16 of the Civil Code of the Philippines pointed out California, is the Philippines, the validity of the provisions of his will depriving his
as the national law is the internal law of California. But as above explained the laws of acknowledged natural child, the appellant, should be governed by the Philippine law,
the domicile, pursuant to Art. 946 of the Civil Code of California, not by the internal Republic of the Philippines
law of California. SUPREME COURT
Manila
WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is hereby reversed and the case returned to
the lower court with instructions that the partition be made as the Philippine law on EN BANC
succession provides. Judgment reversed, with costs against appellees.
G.R. No. L-23678 June 6, 1967
Renvoi Doctrine (Doctrine Of Renvoi)
The theory of the doctrine of renvoi is that the court of the forum, in determining the TESTATE ESTATE OF AMOS G. BELLIS, deceased.
question before it, must take into account the whole law of the other jurisdiction, but PEOPLE'S BANK and TRUST COMPANY, executor.
also its rules as to conflict of laws, and then apply the law to the actual question which MARIA CRISTINA BELLIS and MIRIAM PALMA BELLIS, oppositors-appellants,
the rules of the other jurisdiction prescribe. This may be the law of the forum. vs.
One type of renvoi is when a jural matter is presented which the conflict-of-laws rule EDWARD A. BELLIS, ET AL., heirs-appellees.
of the forum refers to a foreign law, the conflict-of-laws rule of which, in turn, refers
the matter back again to the law of the forum. This is renvoi in the narrower sense. In Vicente R. Macasaet and Jose D. Villena for oppositors appellants.
succession cases, the renvoi doctrine is applicable if the decedent is a national of one Paredes, Poblador, Cruz and Nazareno for heirs-appellees E. A. Bellis, et al.
state and a resident of another. Quijano and Arroyo for heirs-appellees W. S. Bellis, et al.
J. R. Balonkita for appellee People's Bank & Trust Company.
Ozaeta, Gibbs and Ozaeta for appellee A. B. Allsman.

BENGZON, J.P., J.:

This is a direct appeal to Us, upon a question purely of law, from an order of the Court
of First Instance of Manila dated April 30, 1964, approving the project of partition filed
by the executor in Civil Case No. 37089 therein.1wph1.t

The facts of the case are as follows:

Amos G. Bellis, born in Texas, was "a citizen of the State of Texas and of the United
States." By his first wife, Mary E. Mallen, whom he divorced, he had five legitimate
children: Edward A. Bellis, George Bellis (who pre-deceased him in infancy), Henry A.
Bellis, Alexander Bellis and Anna Bellis Allsman; by his second wife, Violet Kennedy,
who survived him, he had three legitimate children: Edwin G. Bellis, Walter S. Bellis
and Dorothy Bellis; and finally, he had three illegitimate children: Amos Bellis, Jr.,
Maria Cristina Bellis and Miriam Palma Bellis.

On August 5, 1952, Amos G. Bellis executed a will in the Philippines, in which he


directed that after all taxes, obligations, and expenses of administration are paid for,
his distributable estate should be divided, in trust, in the following order and manner:
(a) $240,000.00 to his first wife, Mary E. Mallen; (b) P120,000.00 to his three approving the executor's final account, report and administration and project of
illegitimate children, Amos Bellis, Jr., Maria Cristina Bellis, Miriam Palma Bellis, or partition. Relying upon Art. 16 of the Civil Code, it applied the national law of the
P40,000.00 each and (c) after the foregoing two items have been satisfied, the decedent, which in this case is Texas law, which did not provide for legitimes.
remainder shall go to his seven surviving children by his first and second wives,
namely: Edward A. Bellis, Henry A. Bellis, Alexander Bellis and Anna Bellis Allsman, Their respective motions for reconsideration having been denied by the lower court
Edwin G. Bellis, Walter S. Bellis, and Dorothy E. Bellis, in equal shares.1wph1.t on June 11, 1964, oppositors-appellants appealed to this Court to raise the issue of
which law must apply Texas law or Philippine law.
Subsequently, or on July 8, 1958, Amos G. Bellis died a resident of San Antonio, Texas,
U.S.A. His will was admitted to probate in the Court of First Instance of Manila on In this regard, the parties do not submit the case on, nor even discuss, the doctrine of
September 15, 1958. renvoi, applied by this Court in Aznar v. Christensen Garcia, L-16749, January 31, 1963.
Said doctrine is usually pertinent where the decedent is a national of one country, and
The People's Bank and Trust Company, as executor of the will, paid all the bequests a domicile of another. In the present case, it is not disputed that the decedent was
therein including the amount of $240,000.00 in the form of shares of stock to Mary E. both a national of Texas and a domicile thereof at the time of his death.2 So that even
Mallen and to the three (3) illegitimate children, Amos Bellis, Jr., Maria Cristina Bellis assuming Texas has a conflict of law rule providing that the domiciliary system (law of
and Miriam Palma Bellis, various amounts totalling P40,000.00 each in satisfaction of the domicile) should govern, the same would not result in a reference back (renvoi) to
their respective legacies, or a total of P120,000.00, which it released from time to time Philippine law, but would still refer to Texas law. Nonetheless, if Texas has a conflicts
according as the lower court approved and allowed the various motions or petitions rule adopting the situs theory (lex rei sitae) calling for the application of the law of the
filed by the latter three requesting partial advances on account of their respective place where the properties are situated, renvoi would arise, since the properties here
legacies. involved are found in the Philippines. In the absence, however, of proof as to the
conflict of law rule of Texas, it should not be presumed different from
On January 8, 1964, preparatory to closing its administration, the executor submitted ours.3 Appellants' position is therefore not rested on the doctrine of renvoi. As stated,
and filed its "Executor's Final Account, Report of Administration and Project of they never invoked nor even mentioned it in their arguments. Rather, they argue that
Partition" wherein it reported, inter alia, the satisfaction of the legacy of Mary E. their case falls under the circumstances mentioned in the third paragraph of Article
Mallen by the delivery to her of shares of stock amounting to $240,000.00, and the 17 in relation to Article 16 of the Civil Code.
legacies of Amos Bellis, Jr., Maria Cristina Bellis and Miriam Palma Bellis in the amount
of P40,000.00 each or a total of P120,000.00. In the project of partition, the executor Article 16, par. 2, and Art. 1039 of the Civil Code, render applicable the national law of
pursuant to the "Twelfth" clause of the testator's Last Will and Testament divided the decedent, in intestate or testamentary successions, with regard to four items: (a)
the residuary estate into seven equal portions for the benefit of the testator's seven the order of succession; (b) the amount of successional rights; (e) the intrinsic validity
legitimate children by his first and second marriages. of the provisions of the will; and (d) the capacity to succeed. They provide that

On January 17, 1964, Maria Cristina Bellis and Miriam Palma Bellis filed their respective ART. 16. Real property as well as personal property is subject to the law of
oppositions to the project of partition on the ground that they were deprived of their the country where it is situated.
legitimes as illegitimate children and, therefore, compulsory heirs of the deceased.
However, intestate and testamentary successions, both with respect to the
Amos Bellis, Jr. interposed no opposition despite notice to him, proof of service of order of succession and to the amount of successional rights and to the
which is evidenced by the registry receipt submitted on April 27, 1964 by the intrinsic validity of testamentary provisions, shall be regulated by the national
executor.1 law of the person whose succession is under consideration, whatever may he
the nature of the property and regardless of the country wherein said
After the parties filed their respective memoranda and other pertinent pleadings, the property may be found.
lower court, on April 30, 1964, issued an order overruling the oppositions and
ART. 1039. Capacity to succeed is governed by the law of the nation of the Accordingly, since the intrinsic validity of the provision of the will and the amount of
decedent. successional rights are to be determined under Texas law, the Philippine law on
legitimes cannot be applied to the testacy of Amos G. Bellis.
Appellants would however counter that Art. 17, paragraph three, of the Civil Code,
stating that Wherefore, the order of the probate court is hereby affirmed in toto, with costs
against appellants. So ordered.
Prohibitive laws concerning persons, their acts or property, and those which
have for their object public order, public policy and good customs shall not
be rendered ineffective by laws or judgments promulgated, or by
determinations or conventions agreed upon in a foreign country.

prevails as the exception to Art. 16, par. 2 of the Civil Code afore-quoted. This is not
correct. Precisely, Congress deleted the phrase, "notwithstanding the provisions of
this and the next preceding article" when they incorporated Art. 11 of the old Civil
Code as Art. 17 of the new Civil Code, while reproducing without substantial change
the second paragraph of Art. 10 of the old Civil Code as Art. 16 in the new. It must
have been their purpose to make the second paragraph of Art. 16 a specific provision
in itself which must be applied in testate and intestate succession. As further
indication of this legislative intent, Congress added a new provision, under Art. 1039,
which decrees that capacity to succeed is to be governed by the national law of the
decedent.

It is therefore evident that whatever public policy or good customs may be involved in
our System of legitimes, Congress has not intended to extend the same to the
succession of foreign nationals. For it has specifically chosen to leave, inter alia,
the amount of successional rights, to the decedent's national law. Specific provisions
must prevail over general ones.

Appellants would also point out that the decedent executed two wills one to govern
his Texas estate and the other his Philippine estate arguing from this that he
intended Philippine law to govern his Philippine estate. Assuming that such was the
decedent's intention in executing a separate Philippine will, it would not alter the law,
for as this Court ruled in Miciano v. Brimo, 50 Phil. 867, 870, a provision in a foreigner's
will to the effect that his properties shall be distributed in accordance with Philippine
law and not with his national law, is illegal and void, for his national law cannot be
ignored in regard to those matters that Article 10 now Article 16 of the Civil Code
states said national law should govern.

The parties admit that the decedent, Amos G. Bellis, was a citizen of the State of Texas,
U.S.A., and that under the laws of Texas, there are no forced heirs or legitimes.
Republic of the Philippines Nevertheless, legal and testamentary successions, in respect to the order of
SUPREME COURT succession as well as to the amount of the successional rights and the
Manila intrinsic validity of their provisions, shall be regulated by the national law of
the person whose succession is in question, whatever may be the nature of
EN BANC the property or the country in which it may be situated.

G.R. No. L-22595 November 1, 1927 But the fact is that the oppositor did not prove that said testimentary dispositions are
not in accordance with the Turkish laws, inasmuch as he did not present any evidence
Testate Estate of Joseph G. Brimo, JUAN MICIANO, administrator, petitioner-appellee, showing what the Turkish laws are on the matter, and in the absence of evidence on
vs. such laws, they are presumed to be the same as those of the Philippines. (Lim and
ANDRE BRIMO, opponent-appellant. Lim vs. Collector of Customs, 36 Phil., 472.)

Ross, Lawrence and Selph for appellant. It has not been proved in these proceedings what the Turkish laws are. He, himself,
Camus and Delgado for appellee. acknowledges it when he desires to be given an opportunity to present evidence on
this point; so much so that he assigns as an error of the court in not having deferred
the approval of the scheme of partition until the receipt of certain testimony
ROMUALDEZ, J.:
requested regarding the Turkish laws on the matter.
The partition of the estate left by the deceased Joseph G. Brimo is in question in this
The refusal to give the oppositor another opportunity to prove such laws does not
case.
constitute an error. It is discretionary with the trial court, and, taking into
consideration that the oppositor was granted ample opportunity to introduce
The judicial administrator of this estate filed a scheme of partition. Andre Brimo, one
competent evidence, we find no abuse of discretion on the part of the court in this
of the brothers of the deceased, opposed it. The court, however, approved it.
particular. There is, therefore, no evidence in the record that the national law of the
testator Joseph G. Brimo was violated in the testamentary dispositions in question
The errors which the oppositor-appellant assigns are: which, not being contrary to our laws in force, must be complied with and
executed. lawphil.net
(1) The approval of said scheme of partition; (2) denial of his participation in the
inheritance; (3) the denial of the motion for reconsideration of the order approving Therefore, the approval of the scheme of partition in this respect was not erroneous.
the partition; (4) the approval of the purchase made by the Pietro Lana of the
deceased's business and the deed of transfer of said business; and (5) the declaration
In regard to the first assignment of error which deals with the exclusion of the herein
that the Turkish laws are impertinent to this cause, and the failure not to postpone appellant as a legatee, inasmuch as he is one of the persons designated as such in will,
the approval of the scheme of partition and the delivery of the deceased's business to
it must be taken into consideration that such exclusion is based on the last part of the
Pietro Lanza until the receipt of the depositions requested in reference to the Turkish
second clause of the will, which says:
laws.
Second. I like desire to state that although by law, I am a Turkish citizen, this
The appellant's opposition is based on the fact that the partition in question puts into
citizenship having been conferred upon me by conquest and not by free
effect the provisions of Joseph G. Brimo's will which are not in accordance with the
choice, nor by nationality and, on the other hand, having resided for a
laws of his Turkish nationality, for which reason they are void as being in violation or considerable length of time in the Philippine Islands where I succeeded in
article 10 of the Civil Code which, among other things, provides the following:
acquiring all of the property that I now possess, it is my wish that the
distribution of my property and everything in connection with this, my will,
be made and disposed of in accordance with the laws in force in the Andre Brimo as one of the legatees, and the scheme of partition submitted by the
Philippine islands, requesting all of my relatives to respect this wish, judicial administrator is approved in all other respects, without any pronouncement
otherwise, I annul and cancel beforehand whatever disposition found in this as to costs.
will favorable to the person or persons who fail to comply with this request.
So ordered.
The institution of legatees in this will is conditional, and the condition is that the
instituted legatees must respect the testator's will to distribute his property, not in
accordance with the laws of his nationality, but in accordance with the laws of the
Philippines.

If this condition as it is expressed were legal and valid, any legatee who fails to comply
with it, as the herein oppositor who, by his attitude in these proceedings has not
respected the will of the testator, as expressed, is prevented from receiving his legacy.

The fact is, however, that the said condition is void, being contrary to law, for article
792 of the civil Code provides the following:

Impossible conditions and those contrary to law or good morals shall be


considered as not imposed and shall not prejudice the heir or legatee in any
manner whatsoever, even should the testator otherwise provide.

And said condition is contrary to law because it expressly ignores the testator's
national law when, according to article 10 of the civil Code above quoted, such
national law of the testator is the one to govern his testamentary dispositions.

Said condition then, in the light of the legal provisions above cited, is considered
unwritten, and the institution of legatees in said will is unconditional and consequently
valid and effective even as to the herein oppositor.

It results from all this that the second clause of the will regarding the law which shall
govern it, and to the condition imposed upon the legatees, is null and void, being
contrary to law.

All of the remaining clauses of said will with all their dispositions and requests are
perfectly valid and effective it not appearing that said clauses are contrary to the
testator's national law.

Therefore, the orders appealed from are modified and it is directed that the
distribution of this estate be made in such a manner as to include the herein appellant
Republic of the Philippines 1. The decision of the Public Service Commission is not in accordance with
SUPREME COURT law.
Manila
2. The decision of the Public Service Commission is not reasonably
EN BANC supported by evidence.

G.R. No. L-770 April 27, 1948 3. The Public Service Commission erred in not giving petitioner and the Ice
and Cold Storage Industries of the Philippines, Inc., as existing operators, a
ANGEL T. LIMJOCO, petitioner, reasonable opportunity to meet the increased demand.
vs.
INTESTATE ESTATE OF PEDRO O. FRAGRANTE, deceased, respondent. 4. The decision of the Public Service Commission is an unwarranted
departure from its announced policy with respect to the establishment and
Angel Limjoco, Jr. and Delfin L. Gonzales for petitioner. operation of ice plant. (Pp. 1-2, petitioner's brief.)
Bienvenido A. Tan for respondent.
In his argument petitioner contends that it was error on the part of the commission to
HILADO, J.: allow the substitution of the legal representative of the estate of Pedro O. Fragante
for the latter as party applicant in the case then pending before the commission, and
Under date of May 21, 1946, the Public Service Commission, through Deputy in subsequently granting to said estate the certificate applied for, which is said to be
Commissioner Fidel Ibaez, rendered its decision in case No. 4572 of Pedro O. in contravention of law.
Fragante, as applicant for a certificate of public convenience to install, maintain and
operate an ice plant in San Juan, Rizal, whereby said commission held that the If Pedro O. Fragante had not died, there can be no question that he would have had
evidence therein showed that the public interest and convenience will be promoted the right to prosecute his application before the commission to its final conclusion. No
in a proper and suitable manner "by authorizing the operation and maintenance of one would have denied him that right. As declared by the commission in its decision,
another ice plant of two and one-half (2-) tons in the municipality of San Juan; that he had invested in the ice plant in question P 35,000, and from what the commission
the original applicant Pedro O. Fragante was a Filipino Citizen at the time of his death; said regarding his other properties and business, he would certainly have been
and that his intestate estate is financially capable of maintaining the proposed financially able to maintain and operate said plant had he not died. His transportation
service". The commission, therefore, overruled the opposition filed in the case and business alone was netting him about P1,440 a month. He was a Filipino citizen and
ordered "that under the provisions of section 15 of Commonwealth Act No. 146, as continued to be such till his demise. The commission declared in its decision, in view
amended a certificate of public convenience be issued to the Intestate Estate of the of the evidence before it, that his estate was financially able to maintain and operate
deceased Pedro Fragante, authorizing said Intestate Estate through its Special or the ice plant. The aforesaid right of Pedro O. Fragante to prosecute said application to
Judicial Administrator, appointed by the proper court of competent jurisdiction, to its conclusion was one which by its nature did not lapse through his death. Hence, it
maintain and operate an ice plant with a daily productive capacity of two and one-half constitutes a part of the assets of his estate, for which a right was property despite
(2-1/2) tons in the Municipality of San Juan and to sell the ice produced from said plant the possibility that in the end the commission might have denied application, although
in the said Municipality of San Juan and in the Municipality of Mandaluyong, Rizal, and under the facts of the case, the commission granted the application in view of the
in Quezon City", subject to the conditions therein set forth in detail (petitioner's brief, financial ability of the estate to maintain and operate the ice plant. Petitioner, in his
pp. 33-34). memorandum of March 19, 1947, admits (page 3) that the certificate of public
convenience once granted "as a rule, should descend to his estate as an asset". Such
Petitioner makes four assignments of error in his brief as follows: certificate would certainly be property, and the right to acquire such a certificate, by
complying with the requisites of the law, belonged to the decedent in his lifetime, and
survived to his estate and judicial administrator after his death.
If Pedro O. Fragrante had in his lifetime secured an option to buy a piece of land and being placed under the control and management of the executor or administrator, can
during the life of the option he died, if the option had been given him in the ordinary not be exercised but by him in representation of the estate for the benefit of the
course of business and not out of special consideration for his person, there would be creditors, devisees or legatees, if any, and the heirs of the decedent. And if the right
no doubt that said option and the right to exercise it would have survived to his estate involved happens to consist in the prosecution of an unfinished proceeding upon an
and legal representatives. In such a case there would also be the possibility of failure application for a certificate of public convenience of the deceased before the Public
to acquire the property should he or his estate or legal representative fail to comply Service Commission, it is but logical that the legal representative be empowered and
with the conditions of the option. In the case at bar Pedro O. Fragrante's undoubted entitled in behalf of the estate to make the right effective in that proceeding.
right to apply for and acquire the desired certificate of public convenience the
evidence established that the public needed the ice plant was under the law Manresa (Vol. III, 6th ed., p. 11) says that No. 10 of article 334 and article 336 of the
conditioned only upon the requisite citizenship and economic ability to maintain and Civil Code, respectively, consider as immovable and movable things rights which are
operate the service. Of course, such right to acquire or obtain such certificate of public not material. The same eminent commentator says in the cited volume (p. 45) that
convenience was subject to failure to secure its objective through nonfulfillment of article 336 of the Civil Code has been deficiently drafted in that it is not sufficiently
the legal conditions, but the situation here is no different from the legal standpoint expressive of all incorporeal rights which are also property for juridical purposes.
from that of the option in the illustration just given.
Corpus Juris (Vol. 50, p. 737) states that in the broad sense of the term, property
Rule 88, section 2, provides that the executor or administrator may bring or defend includes, among other things, "an option", and "the certificate of the railroad
actions, among other cases, for the protection of the property or rights of the commission permitting the operation of a bus line", and on page 748 of the same
deceased which survive, and it says that such actions may be brought or defended "in volume we read:
the right of the deceased".
However, these terms (real property, as estate or interest) have also been
Rule 82, section 1, paragraph (a), mentions among the duties of the executor or declared to include every species of title, inchoate or complete, and
administrator, the making of an inventory of all goods, chattels, rights, credits, and embrace rights which lie in contract, whether executory or executed.
estate of the deceased which shall come to his possession or knowledge, or to the (Emphasis supplied.)
possession of any other person for him.
Another important question raised by petitioner is whether the estate of Pedro O.
In his commentaries on the Rules of Court (Volume II, 2nd ed., pages 366, 367) the Fragrante is a "person" within the meaning of the Public Service Act.
present chief Justice of this Court draws the following conclusion from the decisions
cited by him: Words and Phrases, First Series, (Vol. 6, p, 5325), states the following doctrine in the
jurisdiction of the State of Indiana:
Therefore, unless otherwise expressly provided by law, any action affecting
the property or rights (emphasis supplied) of a deceased person which may As the estate of the decedent is in law regarded as a person, a forgery
be brought by or against him if he were alive, may likewise be instituted and committed after the death of the man whose name purports to be signed to
prosecuted by or against the administrator, unless the action is for recovery the instrument may be prosecuted as with the intent to defraud the estate.
of money, debt or interest thereon, or unless, by its very nature, it cannot Billings vs. State, 107 Ind., 54, 55, 6 N. E. 914, 7 N. E. 763, 57 Am. Rep. 77.
survive, because death extinguishes the right . . . .
The Supreme Court of Indiana in the decision cited above had before it a case of
It is true that a proceeding upon the application for a certificate of public convenience forgery committed after the death of one Morgan for the purpose of defrauding his
before the Public Service Commission is not an "action". But the foregoing provisions estate. The objection was urged that the information did not aver that the forgery was
and citations go to prove that the decedent's rights which by their nature are not committed with the intent to defraud any person. The Court, per Elliott, J., disposed
extinguished by death go to make up a part and parcel of the assets of his estate which, of this objection as follows:
. . . The reason advanced in support of this proposition is that the law does are ample precedents to show that the estate of a deceased person is also considered
not regard the estate of a decedent as a person. This intention (contention) as having legal personality independent of their heirs. Among the most recent cases
cannot prevail. The estate of the decedent is a person in legal contemplation. may be mentioned that of "Estate of Mota vs. Concepcion, 56 Phil., 712, 717, wherein
"The word "person" says Mr. Abbot, "in its legal signification, is a generic the principal plaintiff was the estate of the deceased Lazaro Mota, and this Court gave
term, and includes artificial as well as natural persons," 2 Abb. Dict. 271; judgment in favor of said estate along with the other plaintiffs in these words:
Douglas vs. Pacific, etc. Co., 4 Cal. 304; Planters', etc., Bank vs. Andrews, 8
Port. (Ala.) 404. It said in another work that 'persons are of two kinds: natural . . . the judgment appealed from must be affirmed so far as it holds that
and artificial. A natural person is a human being. Artificial persons include (1) defendants Concepcion and Whitaker are indebted to he plaintiffs in the
a collection or succession of natural persons forming a corporation; (2) a amount of P245,804.69 . . . .
collection of property to which the law attributes the capacity of having rights
and duties. The latter class of artificial persons is recognized only to a limited Under the regime of the Civil Code and before the enactment of the Code of Civil
extent in our law. "Examples are the estate of a bankrupt or deceased Procedure, the heirs of a deceased person were considered in contemplation of law
person." 2 Rapalje & L. Law Dict. 954. Our own cases inferentially recognize as the continuation of his personality by virtue of the provision of article 661 of the
the correctness of the definition given by the authors from whom we have first Code that the heirs succeed to all the rights and obligations of the decedent by
quoted, for they declare that it is sufficient, in pleading a claim against a the mere fact of his death. It was so held by this Court in Barrios vs. Dolor, 2 Phil., 44,
decedent's estate, to designate the defendant as the estate of the deceased 46. However, after the enactment of the Code of Civil Procedure, article 661 of the
person, naming him. Ginn vs. Collins, 43 Ind. 271. Unless we accept this Civil Code was abrogated, as held in Suiliong & Co. vs. Chio-Taysan, 12 Phil., 13, 22. In
definition as correct, there would be a failure of justice in cases where, as that case, as well as in many others decided by this Court after the innovations
here, the forgery is committed after the death of a person whose name is introduced by the Code of Civil Procedure in the matter of estates of deceased
forged; and this is a result to be avoided if it can be done consistent with persons, it has been the constant doctrine that it is the estate or the mass of property,
principle. We perceive no difficulty in avoiding such a result; for, to our rights and assets left by the decedent, instead of the heirs directly, that becomes
minds, it seems reasonable that the estate of a decedent should be regarded vested and charged with his rights and obligations which survive after his demise.
as an artificial person. It is the creation of law for the purpose of enabling a
disposition of the assets to be properly made, and, although natural persons
The heirs were formerly considered as the continuation of the decedent's personality
as heirs, devises, or creditors, have an interest in the property, the artificial
simply by legal fiction, for they might not have been flesh and blood the reason was
creature is a distinct legal entity. The interest which natural persons have in
one in the nature of a legal exigency derived from the principle that the heirs
it is not complete until there has been a due administration; and one who
succeeded to the rights and obligations of the decedent. Under the present legal
forges the name of the decedent to an instrument purporting to be a
system, such rights and obligations as survive after death have to be exercised and
promissory note must be regarded as having intended to defraud the estate
fulfilled only by the estate of the deceased. And if the same legal fiction were not
of the decedent, and not the natural persons having diverse interests in it,
indulged, there would be no juridical basis for the estate, represented by the executor
since ha cannot be presumed to have known who those persons were, or
or administrator, to exercise those rights and to fulfill those obligations of the
what was the nature of their respective interest. The fraudulent intent is
deceased. The reason and purpose for indulging the fiction is identical and the same
against the artificial person, the estate and not the natural persons who
in both cases. This is why according to the Supreme Court of Indiana in Billings vs.
have direct or contingent interest in it. (107 Ind. 54, 55, 6 N.E. 914-915.)
State, supra, citing 2 Rapalje & L. Dictionary, 954, among the artificial persons
recognized by law figures "a collection of property to which the law attributes the
In the instant case there would also be a failure of justice unless the estate of Pedro capacity of having rights and duties", as for instance, the estate of a bankrupt or
O. Fragrante is considered a "person", for quashing of the proceedings for no other deceased person.
reason than his death would entail prejudicial results to his investment amounting to
P35,000.00 as found by the commission, not counting the expenses and
Petitioner raises the decisive question of whether or not the estate of Pedro O.
disbursements which the proceeding can be presumed to have occasioned him during
Fragrante can be considered a "citizen of the Philippines" within the meaning of
his lifetime, let alone those defrayed by the estate thereafter. In this jurisdiction there
section 16 of the Public Service Act, as amended, particularly the proviso thereof How about the point of citizenship? If by legal fiction his personality is considered
expressly and categorically limiting the power of the commission to issue certificates extended so that any debts or obligations left by, and surviving, him may be paid, and
of public convenience or certificates of public convenience and necessity "only to any surviving rights may be exercised for the benefit of his creditors and heirs,
citizens of the Philippines or of the United States or to corporations, copartnerships, respectively, we find no sound and cogent reason for denying the application of the
associations, or joint-stock companies constituted and organized under the laws of same fiction to his citizenship, and for not considering it as likewise extended for the
the Philippines", and the further proviso that sixty per centum of the stock or paid-up purposes of the aforesaid unfinished proceeding before the Public Service
capital of such entities must belong entirely to citizens of the Philippines or of the Commission. The outcome of said proceeding, if successful, would in the end inure to
United States. the benefit of the same creditors and the heirs. Even in that event petitioner could not
allege any prejudice in the legal sense, any more than he could have done if Fragrante
Within the Philosophy of the present legal system, the underlying reason for the legal had lived longer and obtained the desired certificate. The fiction of such extension of
fiction by which, for certain purposes, the estate of the deceased person is considered his citizenship is grounded upon the same principle, and motivated by the same
a "person" is the avoidance of injustice or prejudice resulting from the impossibility of reason, as the fiction of the extension of personality. The fiction is made necessary to
exercising such legal rights and fulfilling such legal obligations of the decedent as avoid the injustice of subjecting his estate, creditors and heirs, solely by reason of his
survived after his death unless the fiction is indulged. Substantially the same reason is death to the loss of the investment amounting to P35,000, which he has already made
assigned to support the same rule in the jurisdiction of the State of Indiana, as in the ice plant, not counting the other expenses occasioned by the instant
announced in Billings vs. State, supra, when the Supreme Court of said State said: proceeding, from the Public Service Commission of this Court.

. . . It seems reasonable that the estate of a decedent should be regarded as We can perceive no valid reason for holding that within the intent of the constitution
an artificial person. it is the creation of law for the purpose of enabling a (Article IV), its provisions on Philippine citizenship exclude the legal principle of
disposition of the assets to be properly made . . . . extension above adverted to. If for reasons already stated our law indulges the fiction
of extension of personality, if for such reasons the estate of Pedro O. Fragrante should
Within the framework and principles of the constitution itself, to cite just one example, be considered an artificial or juridical person herein, we can find no justification for
under the bill of rights it seems clear that while the civil rights guaranteed therein in refusing to declare a like fiction as to the extension of his citizenship for the purposes
the majority of cases relate to natural persons, the term "person" used in section 1 (1) of this proceeding.
and (2) must be deemed to include artificial or juridical persons, for otherwise these
latter would be without the constitutional guarantee against being deprived of Pedro O. Fragrante was a Filipino citizen, and as such, if he had lived, in view of the
property without due process of law, or the immunity from unreasonable searches evidence of record, he would have obtained from the commission the certificate for
and seizures. We take it that it was the intendment of the framers to include artificial which he was applying. The situation has suffered but one change, and that is, his
or juridical, no less than natural, persons in these constitutional immunities and in death. His estate was that of a Filipino citizen. And its economic ability to appropriately
others of similar nature. Among these artificial or juridical persons figure estates of and adequately operate and maintain the service of an ice plant was the same that it
deceased persons. Hence, we hold that within the framework of the Constitution, the received from the decedent himself. In the absence of a contrary showing, which does
estate of Pedro O. Fragrante should be considered an artificial or juridical person for not exist here, his heirs may be assumed to be also Filipino citizens; and if they are
the purposes of the settlement and distribution of his estate which, of course, include not, there is the simple expedient of revoking the certificate or enjoining them from
the exercise during the judicial administration thereof of those rights and the inheriting it.
fulfillment of those obligations of his which survived after his death. One of those
rights was the one involved in his pending application before the Public Service Upon the whole, we are of the opinion that for the purposes of the prosecution of said
Commission in the instant case, consisting in the prosecution of said application to its case No. 4572 of the Public Service Commission to its final conclusion, both the
final conclusion. As stated above, an injustice would ensue from the opposite course. personality and citizenship of Pedro O. Fragrante must be deemed extended, within
the meaning and intent of the Public Service Act, as amended, in harmony with the
constitution: it is so adjudged and decreed.
Decision affirmed, without costs. So ordered. There is nothing in the record to show conclusively the citizenship of the heirs of
Fragrante. If they are Filipino citizens, the action taken by the Public Service
Moran, C.J., Pablo, Bengzon, Briones, Padilla and Tuason, JJ., concur. Commission should be affirmed. If they are not, it should be reversed.

Paras, J., I hereby certify that Mr. Justice Feria voted with the majority. Petitioner alleges that the estate is just a front or dummy for aliens to go around the
citizenship constitutional provision. It is alleged that Gaw Suy, the special
Separate Opinions administrator of the estate, is an alien.

PERFECTO, J., dissenting: We are of the opinion that the citizenship of the heirs of Fragrante should be
determined by the Commission upon evidence that the party should be present. It
should also determine the dummy question raised by the petitioner.
Commonwealth Act No. 146 reserves to Filipino citizens the right to obtain a certificate
of public convenience to operate an ice plant in San Juan, Rizal. The limitation is in
accordance with section 8 of Article XIV of the Constitution which provides We are of opinion and so vote that the decision of the Public Service Commission of
May 21, 1946, be set aside and that the Commission be instructed to receive evidence
of the above factual questions and render a new decision accordingly.
No franchise, certificate, or any other form of authorization for the operation
of a public utility shall be granted except to citizens of the Philippines or to
corporations or other entities organized under the laws of the Philippines, Only natural or juridical persons, or entities authorized by law may be parties in a civil
sixty per centum of the capital of which is owned by citizens of the action. [Section 1, Rule 3, Rules of Court
Philippines, nor such franchise, certificate or authorization be exclusive in Who is a juridical person
character or for a longer period than fifty years. No franchise granted to any
individual, firm or corporation, except under the condition that it shall be
subject to amendment, alteration, or repeal by Congress when the public o The state and its political subdivisions;
interest so requires. o Other corporations, institutions and entities for public interest or purpose,
created by law; and
The main question in this case is whether the estate of Pedro O. Fragrante fulfills the o Corporations, partnerships and associations for private interest or purpose
citizenship requirement. To our mind, the question can be restated by asking whether
tow which the law grants a juridical personality, separate and distinct from
the heirs of Pedro O. Fragrante fulfill the citizenship requirement of the law.
each shareholder, partner or member. [Article 44, Civil Code]
The estate is an abstract entity. As such, its legal value depends on what it represents.
It is a device by which the law gives a kind of personality and unity to undetermined Who is an entity authorized by law
tangible persons, the heirs. They inherit and replace the deceased at the very moment
of his death. As there are procedural requisites for their identification and o The estate of a deceased person [Limjoco v. Intestate Estate of Fragante;
determination that need time for their compliance, a legal fiction has been devised to
Nazareno v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. L-770, April 27, 1948]
represent them. That legal fiction is the estate, a liquid condition in process of
solidification. o A political party incorporated under Act No. 1459 [now Batas Pambansa 68
(Corporation Code)];
The estate, therefore, has only a representative value. What the law calls estate is, a o A corporation by estoppelmembers thereof can be sued and held liable as
matter of fact, intended to designate the heirs of the deceased. The question, general partners [Section 21, The Corporation Code of the Philippines]
therefore, in this case, boils down to the citizenship of the heirs of Fragrante.
o A contract of partnership having a capital of Php3,000 or more but which
fails to comply with the registration requirements [Article 1722 in relation to
Article 1768, Civil Code]
o A registered labor union, with respect to its property [Section 243, Labor
Code]
o The Roman Catholic Church, as to its properties [Barlin v. Ramirez, G.R. No.
L-2932, November 27, 1906; Versoza v. Fernandez, G.R. No. L-25254,
November 22, 1926]
o A dissolved corporation may prosecute and defend suits by or against it,
provided that the suits (a) occur within three years after its dissolution, and
(b) the suits are in connection with the settlement and closure of its
affairs[Section 122, Corporation Code]
Republic of the Philippines as a consequence of which Antonia was gotten with child and a baby boy was born on
SUPREME COURT June 17, 1931. The defendant was a constant visitor at the home of Antonia in the
Manila early months of her pregnancy, and in February, 1931, he wrote and placed in her
hands a note directed to the padre who has expected to christen the baby. This note
EN BANC was as follows:
Saturday, 1:30 p. m.
G.R. No. L-39110 November 28, 1933 February 14, 1931
Rev. FATHER,
The baby due in June is mine and I should like for my name to be given to it.
ANTONIA L. DE JESUS, ET AL., plaintiff-appellant,
CESAR SYQUIA
vs.
CESAR SYQUIA, defendant-appellant.
The occasion for writing this note was that the defendant was on the eve of his
departure on a trip to China and Japan; and while he was abroad on this visit he wrote
Jose Sotelo for plaintiffs-appellants.
several letters to Antonia showing a paternal interest in the situation that had
Vicente J. Francisco for defendant-appellant.
developed with her, and cautioning her to keep in good condition in order
that "junior" (meaning the baby to be, "Syquia, Jr.") might be strong, and promising to
STREET, J.: 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
This action was instituted in the Court of First Instance of Manila by Antonia Loanco Dr. Crescenciano Talavera to attend at the birth, and made arrangements for the
de Jesus in her own right and by her mother, Pilar Marquez, as next friend and hospitalization of the mother in Saint Joseph's Hospital of the City of Manila, where
representative of Ismael and Pacita Loanco, infants, children of the first-named she was cared for during confinement.
plaintiff, for the purpose of recovering from the defendant, Cesar Syquia, the sum of
thirty thousand pesos as damages resulting to the first-named plaintiff from breach of When Antonio was able to leave the hospital, Syquia took her, with her mother and
a marriage promise, to compel the defendant to recognize Ismael and Pacita as natural the baby, to a house at No. 551 Camarines Street, Manila, where they lived together
children begotten by him with Antonia, and to pay for the maintenance of the three for about a year in regular family style, all household expenses, including gas and
the amount of five hundred pesos per month, together with costs. Upon hearing the electric light, being defrayed by Syquia. In course of time, however, the defendant's
cause, after answer of the defendant, the trial court erred a decree requiring the ardor abated and, when Antonia began to show signs of a second pregnancy the
defendant to recognize Ismael Loanco as his natural child and to pay maintenance for defendant decamped, and he is now married to another woman. A point that should
him at the rate of fifty pesos per month, with costs, dismissing the action in other here be noted is that when the time came for christening the child, the defendant,
respects. From this judgment both parties appealed, the plaintiffs from so much of the who had charge of the arrangement for this ceremony, caused the name Ismael
decision as denied part of the relief sought by them, and the defendant from that Loanco to be given to him, instead of Cesar Syquia, Jr., as was at first planned.
feature of the decision which required him to recognize Ismael Loanco and to pay for
his maintenance.
The first question that is presented in the case is whether the note to the padre,
quoted above, in connection with the letters written by the defendant to the mother
At the time with which we are here concerned, the defendant, Cesar Syquia was of during pregnancy, proves an acknowledgment of paternity, within the meaning of
the age of twenty-three years, and an unmarried scion of the prominent family in subsection 1 of article 135 of the Civil Code. Upon this point we have no hesitancy in
Manila, being possessed of a considerable property in his own right. His brother-in- holding that the acknowledgment thus shown is sufficient. It is a universal rule of
law, Vicente Mendoza is the owner of a barber shop in Tondo, where the defendant jurisprudence that a child, upon being conceived, becomes a bearer of legal rights and
was accustomed to go for tonsorial attention. In the month of June Antonia Loanco, a capable of being dealt with as a living person. The fact that it is yet unborn is no
likely unmarried girl of the age of twenty years, was taken on as cashier in this barber impediment to the acquisition of rights. The problem here presented of the
shop. Syquia was not long in making her acquaintance and amorous relations resulted,
recognition of unborn child is really not different from that presented in the ordinary and we may add here that our conclusion upon the first branch of the case that the
case of the recognition of a child already born and bearing a specific name. Only the defendant had acknowledged this child in writings above referred to must be taken in
means and resources of identification are different. Even a bequest to a living child connection with the facts found by the court upon the second point. It is undeniable
requires oral evidence to connect the particular individual intended with the name that from the birth of this child the defendant supplied a home for it and the mother,
used. in which they lived together with the defendant. This situation continued for about a
year, and until Antonia became enciente a second time, when the idea entered the
It is contended however, in the present case that the words of description used in the defendant's head of abandoning her. The law fixes no period during which a child must
writings before us are not legally sufficient to indemnify the child now suing as Ismael be in the continuous possession of the status of a natural child; and the period in this
Loanco. This contention is not, in our opinion, well founded. The words of recognition case was long enough to evince the father's resolution to concede the status. The
contained in the note to the padre are not capable of two constructions. They refer to circumstance that he abandoned the mother and child shortly before this action was
a baby then conceived which was expected to be born in June and which would started is unimportant. The word "continuous" in subsection 2 of article 135 of the
thereafter be presented for christening. The baby came, and though it was in the end Civil Code does not mean that the concession of status shall continue forever, but only
given the name of Ismael Loanco instead of Cesar Syquia, Jr., its identity as the child that it shall not be of an intermittent character while it continues.
which the defendant intended to acknowledge is clear. Any doubt that might arise on
this point is removed by the letters Exhibit F, G, H, and J. In these letters the defendant What has been said disposes of the principal feature of the defendant's appeal. With
makes repeated reference to junior as the baby which Antonia, to whom the letters respect to the appeal of the plaintiffs, we are of the opinion that the trial court was
were addressed, was then carrying in her womb, and the writer urged Antonia to eat right in refusing to give damages to the plaintiff, Antonia Loanco, for supposed breach
with good appetite in order that junior might be vigorous. In the last letter (Exhibit J) of promise to marry. Such promise is not satisfactorily proved, and we may add that
written only a few days before the birth of the child, the defendant urged her to take the action for breach of promise to marry has no standing in the civil law, apart from
good care of herself and ofjunior also. the right to recover money or property advanced by the plaintiff upon the faith of such
promise. This case exhibits none of the features necessary to maintain such an action.
It seems to us that the only legal question that can here arise as to the sufficiency of Furthermore, there is no proof upon which a judgment could be based requiring the
acknowledgment is whether the acknowledgment contemplated in subsection 1 of defendant to recognize the second baby, Pacita Loanco.
article 135 of the Civil Code must be made in a single document or may be made in
more than one document, of indubitable authenticity, written by the recognizing Finally, we see no necessity or propriety in modifying the judgment as to the amount
father. Upon this point we are of the opinion that the recognition can be made out by of the maintenance which the trial court allowed to Ismael Loanco. And in this
putting together the admissions of more than one document, supplementing the connection we merely point out that, as conditions change, the Court of First Instance
admission made in one letter by an admission or admissions made in another. In the will have jurisdiction to modify the order as to the amount of the pension as
case before us the admission of paternity is contained in the note to the padre and circumstances will require.
the other letters suffice to connect that admission with the child then being carried by
Antonia L. de Jesus. There is no requirement in the law that the writing shall be The judgment appealed from is in all respects affirmed, without costs. So ordered.
addressed to one, or any particular individual. It is merely required that the writing
shall be indubitable. Malcolm, Abad Santos, Hull, Vickers, and butte, JJ., concur.

The second question that presents itself in this case is whether the trial court erred in Separate Opinions
holding that Ismael Loanco had been in the uninterrupted possession of the status of
a natural child, justified by the conduct of the father himself, and that as a
VILLA-REAL, J., dissenting:
consequence, the defendant in this case should be compelled to acknowledge the said
Ismael Loanco, under No. 2 of article 135 of the Civil Code. The facts already stated
The majority opinion is predicated on two grounds: First, that the defendant-appellant
are sufficient, in our opinion, to justify the conclusion of the trial court on this point,
Cesar Syquia has expressly acknowledged his paternity of the child Ismael Loanco in
an indubitable writing of his; and secondly, that said child has enjoyed the 1. When an indisputable paper written by him, expressly acknowledging his
uninterrupted possession of the status of a natural son of said defendant-appellant paternity, is in existence.
Cesar Syquia, justified by his acts, as required by article 135 of the Civil Code.
Maresa (Codigo Civil, Vol. 1, page 596, 4th ed.) commenting on said article, says:
The first conclusion is drawn from Exhibits C, F, G, H, and J.
Con arreglo al articulo que comentamos, no puede haber cuestion acerca de
Exhibit C, which is in the handwriting of any signed by the defendant-appellant Cesar si es posible admitir por otro medio la prueba de la paternidad natural.
Syquia, reads as follows: Entendemos que no, porquel el articulo es terminante y la intencion de la ley
mas terminante aun. Se establecio en la base 5.a que "no se admitira
Sabado, 1.30 p. m. 14 febrero, 1931 investigacion de la paternidad sino en los casos de delito, o cuando exista
escrito del padre en el que conste su voluntad indubitada de reconocer por
Rev. PADRE: suyo al hijo, deliberadamente expresada con ese fin, o cuando medie
posesion de estado", y esto mismo es lo que se ordena en el presente
articulo.
La criatura que vendra el junio es mio y que yo quisiera mi nombre que se de a la
criatura.
No puede, pues, prosperar la demanda para obligar al padre al
reconocimiento de un hijo natural, aunque solo se limite a pedir alimentos,
(Fdo.) CESAR SYQUIA
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
Exhibit F, G, H, and j, which are letters written by the said defendant-appellant Cesar
en causa por de delito violacin, estupro o rapto. El escrito y la sentencia
Syquia to plaintiff-appellee Antonia L. de Jesus prior to the birth of the child contain
habran de acompaarse a la demandada, y no puede admitirse otra prueba
the following expressions:
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
Exhibit F, Feb. 18, 1931: "No hagas nada malo; ni manches mi nombre y el padre o de su familia, que demuestren la posesion continua de dicho estado.
de junior tambien no lo manches. A cuerdate muy bien Toni que es por ti y Para la prueba de estos dos hechos podran utilizarse todos los medios que
por junior volvere alli pronto. ..." permite la Ley de Enjuiciamiento Civil, debiendo el juez rechazar la que por
cualquier otro concepto se dirija a la investigacion de la paternidad.
Exhibit G. Feb. 24, 1931: "Toni por favor cuida bien a junior eh? . ..." xxx xxx xxx

Exhibit H, March 25, 1931: "Toni, cuida tu bien a junior y cuidate bien, y come tu En cuanto al otro requisito de ser expreso el reconocimiento, tengase
mucho. ... ." presente que no basta hacerlo por incidencia; es indespensable que se
consigne en el escrito la voluntad indubitada, clara y terminante del padre,
Exhibit J, June 1, 1931: "Cuidate bien y junior tambien . ..." de reconocer por suyo al hijo, deliberadamente expresada con este fin, como
se ordena an la base 5.a antes citada, de las aprobadas por la Ley de 11 de
Article 135, number 1, provides as follows: mayo de 1888; de suerte que el escrito, aunque contenga otros particulares,
como sucede en los testamentos, ha de tener por objecto el reconocimiento
deliberado y expreso del hijo natural. No llena, pues, ese objecto la
ART. 135. The father may be compelled to acknowledge his natural child in
manifestacion que incidentalmente haga el padre de ser hijo natural suyo la
the following cases:
persona a quien se refiera, y mucho menos el dar a una persona el titulo y
tratamiento de hijo en cartas familiares. Sin embrago, en cada caso decidiran
los un modo suficientemente expresivo la paternidad, servira de base para ART. 135. The father may be compelled to acknowledge his natural child in
acreditar, en union con otros datos, la posesion contante del estado del hijo the following cases:
a los efectos de este articulo, y con arreglo a su numero 2.
xxx xxx xxx
Let it first be noted that the law prohibits the investigation of paternity (Borres and
Barza vs. Municipality of Panay, 42 Phil., 643; Donado vs. Menendez Donado, 55 Phil., 2. When the child has been in the uninterrupted possession of the status of
861). The only exceptions to this rule are those established in article 135 of the Civil a natural child of the defendant father, justified by the conduct of the
Code quoted above, the first of which is that the father may be compelled to father himself or that of his family.
acknowledge his paternity, "When an indubitable writing of his exists in which he The majority decision bases its connection on the second point on Exhibits C, F, G, H,
expressly acknowledge his paternity." The writing that is required by said provision and J and the following facts, as found by the lower court in its decision:
must be complete in itself and by itself, and must contain all the statements that are
necessary to constitute a full and clear acknowledgment by a father of his paternity of Cuando la demandante Antonia L. de Jesus estaba para dar a luz, el
a child, in order that it may serve as a basis for compelling him to acknowledge said demandado Cesar Syquia llamo a su comprovinciano Dr. Crescenciano
child should be afterwards deny his paternity. If several writings put together, each Talavera, medico que entonces ejercia su profesion en la Ciudad de Manila,
not being complete in itself, should be necessary in order to obtain a full and complete para que asistiera a aquella en su parto y a ese efecto llevo a la demandante
expression of acknowledgment by a father of his paternity of a child, the general Antonia L. de Jesus acompaado del Dr. Talavera al Hospital San Jose, de esta
prohibition to investigate paternity would be violated. Ciudad, donde ella dio a luz el 17 de junio de 1931 asistida por dicho Dr.
Talavera, que firmo el certificado de necimiento Exhibit E.
By the mere reading of all said letters, the one addressed to a priest and the others to
the herein plaintiff-appellee, Antonia L. de Jesus, the reader cannot ascertain which is Despues del nacimiento del demandante Ismael Loanco, el demandado
the "creature that is coming on June", which the defendant- appellant, Cesar Syquia, estuvo viviendo con este y con la demandante Antonio L. de Jesus en la casa
says in the said letter addressed to the priest is his, nor who is the "junior" that he No. 551 de la Calle Camarines, Manila, entregando a dicha demandante el
recommends to said Antonia L. de Jesus to take good care of, as there is nothing in dinero para los gastos de casa y el pago del consumo de gas y luz electrica,
anyone of said letters from which it may be inferred that Antonia L. de Jesus habiendo firmado el contrato para el suministro del fluido electrico en dicha
was enciente at the time, that the "junior" was the being she was carrying in her casa.
womb, and that it was the "creature that is coming in June." To connect all these facts
it was necessary to prove that Cesar Syquia had had illicit relations with Antonia L. de Exhibit, C, F, G, H, and J, are inadmissible in evidence the purpose of showing that
Jesus, that as a result of such relations the woman became pregnant, and that she Ismael Loanco has enjoyed the continuous possession of the status of a natural child,
gave birth to a boy in June 1931. All this certainly constitutes an investigation of the because being of prior date to the birth of said child they can not be considered as
paternity of Cesar Syquia of said child outside of the documents, which is prohibited direct acts of Cesar Syquia showing possession of the status of natural child, as no
by law. human being can enjoy such possession until he be born with legal capacity for
acquiring civil rights (Infante vs. Figueras, 4 Phil., 738; Granados vs. Leynes, G.R. No.
Either taken alone therefore, or in connection with Exhibits F, G, H, and J, Exhibit C is 31224, promulgated September 9, 1929, not reported).
insufficient to constitute a "indubitable writing of Cesar Syquia, in which he expressly
acknowledges his paternity of the child Ismael Loanco," as required by number 1 of It must also be stated that Cesar Syquia refused to allow his name to be given to the
article 135 of the Civil Code. child Ismael when it was baptized, so that the name of its mother, Loanco, had to be
given to it.
As to the second ground of the decision of the majority, number 2 of article 135 of the
Civil Code provides: The facts which were found by the court below to have been proved by the testimony
of the witnesses during the trial, are not sufficient to constitute the uninterrupted
possession of the status of Ismael Loanco as natural child of said Cesar Syquia, in the En el mismo criterio restrictivo se inspira la de 12 de octubre de 1907, que
light of the following authorities: estima que el hecho de que dos nodrizas criaron a otros tantos nios,
sufragando el gasto el demandado, quien ademas iba a casa de la
In the case of Buenaventura vs. Urbano (5 Phil., 1, 9), this court said: demandante, los besada, los llamaba hijos y encargaba para los mismos el
mayor cuidado; el de que subvenia a las necesidades de la madre y de los seis
. . . Confining ourselves to the acts proved to have been performed by Don hijos que la nacieron, el primero de los cuales se llamaba como el padre; y el
Telesforo, we find that he visited the mother of the plaintiff; that he paid de que los porteros de la casa donde vivio la actora sabian que el finado
money for her support; that he paid money for the support of the plaintiff; visitaba a esta, se lamentaba de la mucha familia que tenia y era tenido en el
that he hold one witness that the plaintiff was his son; that the plaintiff called concepto publico como padre de los menores, no son suficientes para fundar
him "Papa," and that Don Telesforo answered to this designation; that when la declaracion de paternidad, pues no es legal confundir actos que puedan
the plaintiff visited Don Telesforo he kissed his hand; that Don Telesforo revelar mas o menos la presuncion o convencimiento en que una persona
wrote letters to him; that he paid his fees for instruction in school, and este de su paternidad con relacion a hijos naturales, con los que demuestren
secured him a position in a commercial house. su proposito de poner a estos hijos en la posesion de tal estado.

xxx xxx xxx It will thus be seen from the foregoing discussion and authorities that the herein
defendant-appellant Cesar Syquia cannot be compelled to acknowledge the child
Ismael Loanco as his natural son because there exists not an indubitable writing of his
All these facts taken together are not sufficient to show that plaintiff
in which he expressly acknowledges his paternity of said child, and because the said
possesses continuously the status of a natural child. They may have a
child has not enjoyed the uninterrupted possession of the status of a natural child of
tendency to show that Don Telesforo was the father of the child, but that it
the said
is not sufficient. It is not sufficient that the father recognize the child as his.
defendant-appellant, justified by his own conduct or that of his family, as required by
By the express terms of article 135 that recognition must appear either in
article 135 of the Civil Code.
writing, made by the father, or it must appear in acts which show that 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 The decision appealed from should, therefore, be reversed and the complaint
two paragraphs is sufficient. It must appear that it was the intention of the dismissed.
father to recognize the child as to give him that status, and that the acts
performed by him were done with that intention.

Manresa (Codigo Civil, Vol. 1, page 602, 4th ed.) in citing some decisions of the
Supreme Court of Spain says:

En la sentencia de 5 de junio de 1906 declarase que para justificar la posesion


de estado de hijo natural se requiere que los actos sean de tal naturaleza que
revelen, a la vez que el convencimiento de la paternidad, 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 reconocimiento
expreso.lawphil.net
Republic of the Philippines aborted again by the defendant in October 1953. Less than two years later,
SUPREME COURT she again became pregnant. On February 21, 1955, accompanied by her
Manila sister Purificacion and the latter's daughter Lucida, she again repaired to the
defendant's clinic on Carriedo and P. Gomez streets in Manila, where the
EN BANC three met the defendant and his wife. Nita was again aborted, of a two-
month old foetus, in consideration of the sum of fifty pesos, Philippine
G.R. No. L-16439 July 20, 1961 currency. The plaintiff was at this time in the province of Cagayan,
campaigning for his election to the provincial board; he did not know of, nor
gave his consent, to the abortion.
ANTONIO GELUZ, petitioner,
vs.
THE HON. COURT OF APPEALS and OSCAR LAZO, respondents. It is the third and last abortion that constitutes plaintiff's basis in filing this action and
award of damages. Upon application of the defendant Geluz we granted certiorari.
Mariano H. de Joya for petitioner.
A.P. Salvador for respondents. The Court of Appeals and the trial court predicated the award of damages in the sum
of P3,000.06 upon the provisions of the initial paragraph of Article 2206 of the Civil
Code of the Philippines. This we believe to be error, for the said article, in fixing a
REYES, J.B.L., J.:
minimum award of P3,000.00 for the death of a person, does not cover the case of an
unborn foetus that is not endowed with personality. Under the system of our Civil
This petition for certiorari brings up for review question whether the husband of a
Code, "la criatura abortiva no alcanza la categoria de persona natural y en
woman, who voluntarily procured her abortion, could recover damages from
consscuencia es un ser no nacido a la vida del Derecho" (Casso-Cervera, "Diccionario
physician who caused the same.
de Derecho Privado", Vol. 1, p. 49), being incapable of having rights and obligations.

The litigation was commenced in the Court of First Instance of Manila by respondent
Since an action for pecuniary damages on account of personal injury or death pertains
Oscar Lazo, the of Nita Villanueva, against petitioner Antonio Geluz, a physician.
primarily to the one injured, it is easy to see that if no action for such damages could
Convinced of the merits of the complaint upon the evidence adduced, the trial court
be instituted on behalf of the unborn child on account of the injuries it received, no
rendered judgment favor of plaintiff Lazo and against defendant Geluz, ordering the
such right of action could derivatively accrue to its parents or heirs. In fact, even if a
latter to pay P3,000.00 as damages, P700.00 attorney's fees and the costs of the suit.
cause of action did accrue on behalf of the unborn child, the same was extinguished
On appeal, Court of Appeals, in a special division of five, sustained the award by a
by its pre-natal death, since no transmission to anyone can take place from on that
majority vote of three justices as against two, who rendered a separate dissenting
lacked juridical personality (or juridical capacity as distinguished from capacity to act).
opinion.
It is no answer to invoke the provisional personality of a conceived child (conceptus
pro nato habetur) under Article 40 of the Civil Code, because that same article
The facts are set forth in the majority opinion as follows: expressly limits such provisional personality by imposing the condition that the child
should be subsequently born alive: "provided it be born later with the condition
Nita Villanueva came to know the defendant (Antonio Geluz) for the first time specified in the following article". In the present case, there is no dispute that the child
in 1948 through her aunt Paula Yambot. In 1950 she became pregnant by was dead when separated from its mother's womb.
her present husband before they were legally married. Desiring to conceal
her pregnancy from her parent, and acting on the advice of her aunt, she had The prevailing American jurisprudence is to the same effect; and it is generally held
herself aborted by the defendant. After her marriage with the plaintiff, she that recovery can not had for the death of an unborn child (Stafford vs. Roadway
again became pregnant. As she was then employed in the Commission on Transit Co., 70 F. Supp. 555; Dietrich vs. Northampton, 52 Am. Rep. 242; and
Elections and her pregnancy proved to be inconvenient, she had herself numerous cases collated in the editorial note, 10 ALR, (2d) 639).
This is not to say that the parents are not entitled to collect any damages at all. But justify an award of damage that, under the circumstances on record, have no factual
such damages must be those inflicted directly upon them, as distinguished from the or legal basis.
injury or violation of the rights of the deceased, his right to life and physical integrity.
Because the parents can not expect either help, support or services from an unborn The decision appealed from is reversed, and the complaint ordered dismissed.
child, they would normally be limited to moral damages for the illegal arrest of the Without costs.
normal development of the spes hominis that was the foetus, i.e., on account of
distress and anguish attendant to its loss, and the disappointment of their parental Let a copy of this decision be furnished to the Department of Justice and the Board of
expectations (Civ. Code Art. 2217), as well as to exemplary damages, if the Medical Examiners for their information and such investigation and action against the
circumstances should warrant them (Art. 2230). But in the case before us, both the appellee Antonio Geluz as the facts may warrant.
trial court and the Court of Appeals have not found any basis for an award of moral
damages, evidently because the appellee's indifference to the previous abortions of
his wife, also caused by the appellant herein, clearly indicates that he was Rights Of An Unborn Child (When Legal Personality Begins)
unconcerned with the frustration of his parental hopes and affections. The lower court Relevant Constitutional and Statutory Provisions
expressly found, and the majority opinion of the Court of Appeals did not contradict
it, that the appellee was aware of the second abortion; and the probabilities are that
he was likewise aware of the first. Yet despite the suspicious repetition of the event, Article II (Declaration of Principles and State Policies) of the 1987 Constitution
he appeared to have taken no steps to investigate or pinpoint the causes thereof, and provides:
secure the punishment of the responsible practitioner. Even after learning of the third
abortion, the appellee does not seem to have taken interest in the administrative and Section 12. The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and
criminal cases against the appellant. His only concern appears to have been directed strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect
at obtaining from the doctor a large money payment, since he sued for P50,000.00 the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception. xxx
damages and P3,000.00 attorney's fees, an "indemnity" claim that, under the
circumstances of record, was clearly exaggerated. The Civil Code likewise provides:

Art. 40. Birth determines personality; but the conceived child shall be considered born
The dissenting Justices of the Court of Appeals have aptly remarked that:
for all purposes that are favorable to it, provided it be born later with the conditions
specified in the following article. (29a)
It seems to us that the normal reaction of a husband who righteously feels
outraged by the abortion which his wife has deliberately sought at the hands Art. 41. For civil purposes, the fetus is considered born if it is alive at the time it is
of a physician would be highminded rather than mercenary; and that his completely delivered from the mother's womb. However, if the fetus had an intra-
primary concern would be to see to it that the medical profession was purged uterine life of less than seven months, it is not deemed born if it dies within twenty-
of an unworthy member rather than turn his wife's indiscretion to personal four hours after its complete delivery from the maternal womb. (30a)
profit, and with that idea in mind to press either the administrative or the
criminal cases he had filed, or both, instead of abandoning them in favor of a Art. 42. Civil personality is extinguished by death.
civil action for damages of which not only he, but also his wife, would be the
beneficiaries. The effect of death upon the rights and obligations of the deceased is determined by
law, by contract and by will.
It is unquestionable that the appellant's act in provoking the abortion of appellee's
wife, without medical necessity to warrant it, was a criminal and morally reprehensible Right of an Unborn Child (Provisional Personality)
act, that can not be too severely condemned; and the consent of the woman or that
of her husband does not excuse it. But the immorality or illegality of the act does not A conceived child, although as yet unborn, is given by law a provisional personality of
its own for all purposes favorable to it, as explicitly provided in Article 40 of the Civil ovum in a womans uterus, as this theory does not pertain to the beginning of life but
Code of the Philippines. The unborn child, therefore, has a right to support from it to the viability of the fetus.]
progenitors [even] if the said child is only "en ventre de sa mere;" just as a conceived
child, even if as yet unborn, may receive donations as prescribed by Article 742 of the
same Code, and its being ignored by the parent in his testament may result in
preterition of a forced heir that annuls the institution of the testamentary heir, even
if such child should be born after the death of the testator (Article 854, Civil Code) [see
Quimiguing vs. Icao, G.R. No. L-26795, July 31, 1970](underscoring supplied)

Although an unborn child is granted provisional personality under the law, whatever
inchoate rights that attach to it can only ripen if the child is born alive. In the case
of Geluz vs Court of Appeals, G.R. No. L-16439, July 20, 1961, the court stated that,
Since an action for pecuniary damages on account of personal injury or death
pertains primarily to the one injured, it is easy to see that if no action for such damages
could be instituted on behalf of the unborn child on account of the injuries it received,
no such right of action could derivatively accrue to its parents or heirs. In fact, even if
a cause of action did accrue on behalf of the unborn child, the same was extinguished
by its pre-natal death, since no transmission to anyone can take place from one that
lacked juridical personality (or juridical capacity, as distinguished from capacity to act).
It is no answer to invoke the provisional personality of a conceived child (conceptus
pro nato habetur) under Article 40 of the Civil Code, because that same article
expressly limits such provisional personality by imposing the condition that the child
should be subsequently born alive: "provided it be born later with the conditions
specified in the following article"

Life not synonymous with Civil Personality

In Continental Steel Manufacturing Corporation vs. Montano, G.R. No. 182836, October
13, 2009, the court ruled that bereavement leave can be availed of for the death of an
unborn child, even through the unborn child has not yet acquired civil personality. The
court therein stated that, Life is not synonymous with civil personality. One need not
acquire civil personality first before he/she could die. Even a child inside the womb
already has life. No less than the Constitution recognizes the life of the unborn from
conception, that the State must protect equally with the life of the mother. If the
unborn already has life, then the cessation thereof even prior to the child being
delivered, qualifies as death.

[see also Imbong vs Executive Secretary, G.R No. 204819, April 8, 2014, where the court
declared that the Constitution affords protection to the unborn from conception, with
conception defined as life beginning at fertilization. The court rejected the
argument that conception only begins at the moment of implantation of the fertilized
SECOND DIVISION Sumaylo and del Rosario, he did not violate Article 7, paragraph 1 of the Family Code
which states that: "Marriage may be solemnized by: (1) Any incumbent member of the
RODOLFO G. NAVARRO, complainant, judiciary within the court's jurisdiction; and that Article 8 thereof applies to the case
vs. in question.

JUDGE HERNANDO C. DOMAGTOY, respondent. The complaint was not referred, as is usual, for investigation, since the pleadings
submitted were considered sufficient for a resolution of the case.[2]
DECISION Since the countercharges of sinister motives and fraud on the part of
ROMERO, J.: complainant have not been sufficiently proven, they will not be dwelt upon. The acts
complained of and respondent judge's answer thereto will suffice and can be
objectively assessed by themselves to prove the latter's malfeasance.
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 The certified true copy of the marriage contract between Gaspar Tagadan and
specific acts committed by respondent Municipal Circuit Trial Court Judge Hernando Arlyn Borga states that Tagadan's civil status is "separated." Despite this declaration,
Domagtoy, which, he contends, exhibits gross misconduct as well as inefficiency in the wedding ceremony was solemnized by respondent judge. He presented in
office and ignorance of the law. evidence a joint affidavit by Maurecio A. Labado, Sr. and Eugenio Bullecer, subscribed
and sworn to before Judge Demosthenes C. Duquilla, Municipal Trial Judge of Basey,
First, on September 27, 1994, respondent judge solemnized the wedding
Samar.[3] The affidavit was not issued by the latter judge, as claimed by respondent
between Gaspar A. Tagadan and Arlyn F. Borga, despite the knowledge that the groom
judge, but merely acknowledged before him. In their affidavit, the affiants stated that
is merely separated from his first wife.
they knew Gaspar Tagadan to have been civilly married to Ida D. Pearanda in
Second, it is alleged that he performed a marriage ceremony between Floriano September 1983; that after thirteen years of cohabitation and having borne five
Dador Sumaylo and Gemma G. del Rosario outside his court's jurisdiction on October children, Ida Pearanda left the conjugal dwelling in Valencia, Bukidnon and that she
27, 1994. Respondent judge holds office and has jurisdiction in the Municipal Circuit has not returned nor been heard of for almost seven years, thereby giving rise to the
Trial Court of Sta. Monica-Burgos, Surigao del Norte. The wedding was solemnized at presumption that she is already dead.
the respondent judge's residence in the municipality of Dapa, which does not fall
In effect, Judge Domagtoy maintains that the aforementioned joint affidavit is
within his jurisdictional area of the municipalities of Sta. Monica and Burgos, located
sufficient proof of Ida Pearanda's presumptive death, and ample reason for him to
some 40 to 45 kilometers away from the municipality of Dapa, Surigao del Norte.
proceed with the marriage ceremony. We do not agree.
In his letter-comment to the Office of the Court Administrator, respondent judge
Article 41 of the Family Code expressly provides:
avers that the office and name of the Municipal Mayor of Dapa have been used by
someone else, who, as the mayor's "lackey," is overly concerned with his actuations
both as judge and as a private person. The same person had earlier filed "A marriage contracted by any person during the subsistence of a previous marriage
Administrative Matter No. 94-980-MTC, which was dismissed for lack of merit on shall be null and void, unless before the celebration of the subsequent marriage, the
September 15, 1994, and Administrative Matter No. OCA-IPI-95-16, "Antonio Adapon prior spouse had been absent for four consecutive years and the spouse present had
v. Judge Hernando C. Domagtoy," which is still pending. a well-founded belief that the absent spouse was already dead. In case of
disappearance where there is danger of death under the circumstances set forth in
In relation to the charges against him, respondent judge seeks exculpation from the provisions of Articles 391 of the Civil Code, an absence of only two years shall be
his act of having solemnized the marriage between Gaspar Tagadan, a married man sufficient.
separated from his wife, and Arlyn F. Borga by stating that he merely relied on the
Affidavit issued by the Municipal Trial Judge of Basey, Samar, confirming the fact that For the purpose of contracting the subsequent marriage under the preceding
Mr. Tagadan and his first wife have not seen each other for almost seven years.[1] With paragraph, the spouse present must institute a summary proceeding as provided in this
respect to the second charge, he maintains that in solemnizing the marriage between
Code for the declaration of presumptive death of the absentee, without prejudice to marriage can be held outside of the judge's chambers or courtroom only in the
the effect of reappearance of the absent spouse." (Emphasis added.) following instances: (1) at the point of death, (2) in remote places in accordance with
Article 29 or (3) upon request of both parties in writing in a sworn statement to this
There is nothing ambiguous or difficult to comprehend in this provision. In fact, effect. There is no pretense that either Sumaylo or del Rosario was at the point of
the law is clear and simple. Even if the spouse present has a well-founded belief that death or in a remote place. Moreover, the written request presented addressed to the
the absent spouse was already dead, a summary proceeding for the declaration of respondent judge was made by only one party, Gemma del Rosario.[4]
presumptive death is necessary in order to contract a subsequent marriage, a
More importantly, the elementary principle underlying this provision is the
mandatory requirement which has been precisely incorporated into the Family Code
authority of the solemnizing judge. Under Article 3, one of the formal requisites of
to discourage subsequent marriages where it is not proven that the previous marriage
marriage is the "authority of the solemnizing officer." Under Article 7, marriage may
has been dissolved or a missing spouse is factually or presumptively dead, in
be solemnized by, among others, "any incumbent member of the judiciary within the
accordance with pertinent provisions of law.
court's jurisdiction." Article 8, which is a directory provision, refers only to the venue
In the case at bar, Gaspar Tagadan did not institute a summary proceeding for of the marriage ceremony and does not alter or qualify the authority of the
the declaration of his first wife's presumptive death. Absent this judicial declaration, solemnizing officer as provided in the preceding provision. Non-compliance herewith
he remains married to Ida Pearanda. Whether wittingly, or unwittingly, it was manifest will not invalidate the marriage.
error on the part of respondent judge to have accepted the joint affidavit submitted
A priest who is commissioned and allowed by his local ordinary to marry the
by the groom. Such neglect or ignorance of the law has resulted in a bigamous, and
faithful, is authorized to do so only within the area of the diocese or place allowed by
therefore void, marriage. Under Article 35 of the Family Code, "The following marriage
his Bishop. An appellate court Justice or a Justice of this Court has jurisdiction over the
shall be void from the beginning: (4) Those bigamous x x x marriages not falling under
entire Philippines to solemnize marriages, regardless of the venue, as long as the
Article 41."
requisites of the law are complied with. However, judges who are appointed to
The second issue involves the solemnization of a marriage ceremony outside the specific jurisdictions, may officiate in weddings only within said areas and not
court's jurisdiction, covered by Articles 7 and 8 of the Family Code, thus: 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
"Art. 7. Marriage may be solemnized by: not affect the validity of the marriage, may subject the officiating official to
administrative liability.[5]
(1) Any incumbent member of the judiciary within the court's jurisdiction; Inasmuch as respondent judge's jurisdiction covers the municipalities of Sta.
Monica and Burgos, he was not clothed with authority to solemnize a marriage in the
x x x x x x xxx (Emphasis supplied.) municipality of Dapa, Surigao del Norte. By citing Article 8 and the exceptions therein
as grounds for the exercise of his misplaced authority, respondent judge again
Art. 8. The marriage shall be solemnized publicly in the chambers of the judge or in demonstrated a lack of understanding of the basic principles of civil law.
open court, in the church, chapel or temple, or in the office of the consul-general,
Accordingly, the Court finds respondent to have acted in gross ignorance of the
consul or vice-consul, as the case may be, and not elsewhere, except in cases of
law. The legal principles applicable in the cases brought to our attention are
marriages contracted on the point of death or in remote places in accordance with
elementary and uncomplicated, prompting us to conclude that respondent's failure to
Article 29 of this Code, or where both parties request the solemnizing officer in writing
apply them is due to a lack of comprehension of the law.
in which case the marriage may be solemnized at a house or place designated by them
in a sworn statement to that effect." The judiciary should be composed of persons who, if not experts, are at least,
proficient in the law they are sworn to apply, more than the ordinary laymen. They
Respondent judge points to Article 8 and its exceptions as the justifications for should be skilled and competent in understanding and applying the law. It is
his having solemnized the marriage between Floriano Sumaylo and Gemma del imperative that they be conversant with basic legal principles like the ones involved in
Rosario outside of his court's jurisdiction. As the aforequoted provision states, a instant case.[6] It is not too much to expect them to know and apply the law
intelligently.[7] Otherwise, the system of justice rests on a shaky foundation indeed, 1. Any member of the Judiciary within the courts jurisdiction (Art. 7, Family Code).
compounded by the errors committed by those not learned in the law. While
An appellate court or Supreme Court justice has jurisdiction over the entire
magistrates may at times make mistakes in judgment, for which they are not
penalized, the respondent judge exhibited ignorance of elementary provisions of law, Philippines to solemnize marriages, regardless of the venue, as long as the
in an area which has greatly prejudiced the status of married persons. requisites of the law are complied with. However, judges who are appointed to a
specific jurisdiction may officiate in weddings only within that said area and not
The marriage between Gaspar Tagadan and Arlyn Borga is considered bigamous
and void, there being a subsisting marriage between Gaspar Tagadan and Ida beyond [Navarro v. Domagtoy, A.M. No. MTJ-96-1088, July 19, 1996]
Pearanda. 2. Any priest, rabbi, imam, or minister of any church or religious sect duly authorized
The Office of the Court Administrator recommends, in its Memorandum to the by his church or religious sect and registered with the civil registrar general, acting
Court, a six-month suspension and a stern warning that a repetition of the same or within the limits of the written authority granted him by his church or religious
similar acts will be dealt with more severely. Considering that one of the marriages in sect, and provided that at least one of the contracting parties belong to the
question resulted in a bigamous union and therefore void, and the other lacked the solemnizing officers church or religious sect (Art. 7, Family Code).
necessary authority of respondent judge, the Court adopts said
3. Any ship captain or airplane chief only in cases mentioned in Article 31 of the
recommendation. Respondent is advised to be more circumspect in applying the law
and to cultivate a deeper understanding of the law. Family Code (Art. 7, Family Code).
4. Any military commander of a unit to which a chaplain is assigned, in the absence
IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, respondent Judge Hernando C. Domagtoy is hereby
SUSPENDED for a period of six (6) months and given a STERN WARNING that a of the latter, during a military operation, likewise only in the cases mentioned in
repetition of the same or similar acts will be dealt with more severely. Article 32 of the Family Code (Art. 7, Family Code).
5. Any consul-general, consul, or vice-consul in the case provided in Article 10 of the
SO ORDERED.
Family Code (Art. 7, Family Code).
Requisites Of A Valid Marriage; Formal Requisites 6. Mayors (Sec. 444 and 455, Local Government Code).
The formal requisites of a valid marriage are:
II. Valid Marriage License
1. The authority of the solemnizing officer;
2. A valid marriage license (except in certain instances provided for by the Family A marriage before the issuance of the marriage license is void, and that the
subsequent issuance of such license cannot render valid the marriage. Except in cases
Code); and
provided by law, it is the marriage license that gives the solemnizing officer the
3. A marriage ceremony which takes place with the appearance of the contracting authority to solemnize a marriage [Araes v. Occiano, A.M. No. MTJ-02-1390, April 11,
parties before the solemnizing officer and their personal vow that they take each 2002].
other as husband and wife in the presence of not less than two witnesses of legal
age [Art. 3, Family Code]. The non-indication of the license number in certified copies is not as fatal vis--vis the
issue of the validity of the marriage in question because there is nothing in the law
which requires that the marriage license number should be indicated in the marriage
I. Authority of the Solemnizing Officer
contract itself [Geronimo v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 105540, July 5, 1993].
A marriage may be solemnized by any of the following:
A certification by the Local Civil Registrar that their office has no record of a marriage
license is adequate to prove the non-issuance of such. The certification to be issued
by the Local Civil Registrar must categorically state that the document does not exist
in his office or the particular entry could not be found in the register despite diligent Republic of the Philippines
search. Such certification shall be sufficient proof of lack or absence of record as stated SUPREME COURT
in Section 28, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court [Savilla v. Cardenas, G.R. No. 167684, July Manila
31, 2006].
FIRST DIVISION
P.D. No. 965 requires the attendance of the family planning seminar as a requirement
for the issuance of a marriage license, subject to exceptions [Sec. 3, P.D. No. 965]. G.R. No. L-68470 October 8, 1985

III. Marriage Ceremony


ALICE REYES VAN DORN, petitioner,
vs.
The signing of the marriage contract is a formal requirement of evidentiary value, the
HON. MANUEL V. ROMILLO, JR., as Presiding Judge of Branch CX, Regional Trial Court
omission of which does not render the marriage a nullity. The marriage certificate
of the National Capital Region Pasay City and RICHARD UPTON respondents.
itself is neither an essential nor formal requirement of marriage [De Loria v. Apelan
Felix, G.R. No. L-9005, June 20, 1958].
MELENCIO-HERRERA, J.:\
The best proof of marriage between man and wife is a marriage contract [Vda. de Chua
vs. Court of Appeals (Special Eight Division), G.R. No. 116835, March 5, 1998]. In this Petition for certiorari and Prohibition, petitioner Alice Reyes Van Dorn seeks to
set aside the Orders, dated September 15, 1983 and August 3, 1984, in Civil Case No.
1075-P, issued by respondent Judge, which denied her Motion to Dismiss said case,
and her Motion for Reconsideration of the Dismissal Order, respectively.

The basic background facts are that petitioner is a citizen of the Philippines while
private respondent is a citizen of the United States; that they were married in
Hongkong in 1972; that, after the marriage, they established their residence in the
Philippines; that they begot two children born on April 4, 1973 and December 18,
1975, respectively; that the parties were divorced in Nevada, United States, in 1982;
and that petitioner has re-married also in Nevada, this time to Theodore Van Dorn.

Dated June 8, 1983, private respondent filed suit against petitioner in Civil Case No.
1075-P of the Regional Trial Court, Branch CXV, in Pasay City, stating that petitioner's
business in Ermita, Manila, (the Galleon Shop, for short), is conjugal property of the
parties, and asking that petitioner be ordered to render an accounting of that
business, and that private respondent be declared with right to manage the conjugal
property. Petitioner moved to dismiss the case on the ground that the cause of action
is barred by previous judgment in the divorce proceedings before the Nevada Court
wherein respondent had acknowledged that he and petitioner had "no community
property" as of June 11, 1982. The Court below denied the Motion to Dismiss in the
mentioned case on the ground that the property involved is located in the Philippines
so that the Divorce Decree has no bearing in the case. The denial is now the subject
of this certiorari proceeding.
Generally, the denial of a Motion to Dismiss in a civil case is interlocutory and is not xxx xxx xxx
subject to appeal. certiorari and Prohibition are neither the remedies to question the
propriety of an interlocutory order of the trial Court. However, when a grave abuse of You are hereby authorized to accept service of Summons, to file an
discretion was patently committed, or the lower Court acted capriciously and Answer, appear on my behalf and do an things necessary and proper
whimsically, then it devolves upon this Court in a certiorari proceeding to exercise its to represent me, without further contesting, subject to the
supervisory authority and to correct the error committed which, in such a case, is following:
equivalent to lack of jurisdiction. 1 Prohibition would then lie since it would be useless
and a waste of time to go ahead with the proceedings. 2 Weconsider the petition filed 1. That my spouse seeks a divorce on the ground of incompatibility.
in this case within the exception, and we have given it due course.
2. That there is no community of property to be adjudicated by the
For resolution is the effect of the foreign divorce on the parties and their alleged Court.
conjugal property in the Philippines.
3. 'I'hat there are no community obligations to be adjudicated by
Petitioner contends that respondent is estopped from laying claim on the alleged the court.
conjugal property because of the representation he made in the divorce proceedings
before the American Court that they had no community of property; that the Galleon
xxx xxx xxx
Shop was not established through conjugal funds, and that respondent's claim is
barred by prior judgment.
There can be no question as to the validity of that Nevada divorce in any of the States
of the United States. The decree is binding on private respondent as an American
For his part, respondent avers that the Divorce Decree issued by the Nevada Court
citizen. For instance, private respondent cannot sue petitioner, as her husband, in any
cannot prevail over the prohibitive laws of the Philippines and its declared national
State of the Union. What he is contending in this case is that the divorce is not valid
policy; that the acts and declaration of a foreign Court cannot, especially if the same
and binding in this jurisdiction, the same being contrary to local law and public policy.
is contrary to public policy, divest Philippine Courts of jurisdiction to entertain matters
within its jurisdiction.
It is true that owing to the nationality principle embodied in Article 15 of the Civil
Code, 5 only Philippine nationals are covered by the policy against absolute divorces
For the resolution of this case, it is not necessary to determine whether the property
the same being considered contrary to our concept of public police and morality.
relations between petitioner and private respondent, after their marriage, were upon
However, aliens may obtain divorces abroad, which may be recognized in the
absolute or relative community property, upon complete separation of property, or
Philippines, provided they are valid according to their national law. 6 In this case, the
upon any other regime. The pivotal fact in this case is the Nevada divorce of the
divorce in Nevada released private respondent from the marriage from the standards
parties.
of American law, under which divorce dissolves the marriage. As stated by the Federal
Supreme Court of the United States in Atherton vs. Atherton, 45 L. Ed. 794, 799:
The Nevada District Court, which decreed the divorce, had obtained jurisdiction over
petitioner who appeared in person before the Court during the trial of the case. It also
The purpose and effect of a decree of divorce from the bond of
obtained jurisdiction over private respondent who, giving his address as No. 381 Bush
matrimony by a court of competent jurisdiction are to change the
Street, San Francisco, California, authorized his attorneys in the divorce case, Karp &
existing status or domestic relation of husband and wife, and to free
Gradt Ltd., to agree to the divorce on the ground of incompatibility in the
them both from the bond. The marriage tie when thus severed as to
understanding that there were neither community property nor community
one party, ceases to bind either. A husband without a wife, or a wife
obligations. 3 As explicitly stated in the Power of Attorney he executed in favor of the
without a husband, is unknown to the law. When the law provides,
law firm of KARP & GRAD LTD., 336 W. Liberty, Reno, Nevada, to represent him in the
in the nature of a penalty. that the guilty party shall not marry again,
divorce proceedings:
that party, as well as the other, is still absolutely freed from the bond FIRST DIVISION
of the former marriage.
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, G.R. No. 154380
Thus, pursuant to his national law, private respondent is no longer the husband of Petitioner,
petitioner. He would have no standing to sue in the case below as petitioner's husband
entitled to exercise control over conjugal assets. As he is bound by the Decision of his Present:
own country's Court, which validly exercised jurisdiction over him, and whose decision
he does not repudiate, he is estopped by his own representation before said Court Davide, Jr., C.J.,
from asserting his right over the alleged conjugal property. - versus - (Chairman),
Quisumbing,
To maintain, as private respondent does, that, under our laws, petitioner has to be Ynares-Santiago,
considered still married to private respondent and still subject to a wife's obligations Carpio, and
under Article 109, et. seq. of the Civil Code cannot be just. Petitioner should not be Azcuna, JJ.
obliged to live together with, observe respect and fidelity, and render support to CIPRIANO ORBECIDO III,
private respondent. The latter should not continue to be one of her heirs with possible Respondent. Promulgated:
rights to conjugal property. She should not be discriminated against in her own
country if the ends of justice are to be served. October 5, 2005

x--------------------------------------------------x
WHEREFORE, the Petition is granted, and respondent Judge is hereby ordered to
dismiss the Complaint filed in Civil Case No. 1075-P of his Court. DECISION

Without costs.
QUISUMBING, J.:
SO ORDERED.
Given a valid marriage between two Filipino citizens, where one party is later
naturalized as a foreign citizen and obtains a valid divorce decree capacitating him or
her to remarry, can the Filipino spouse likewise remarry under Philippine law?

Before us is a case of first impression that behooves the Court to make a


definite ruling on this apparently novel question, presented as a pure question of law.

In this petition for review, the Solicitor General assails the Decision[1] dated
May 15, 2002, of the Regional Trial Court of Molave, Zamboanga del Sur, Branch 23
and its Resolution[2] dated July 4, 2002 denying the motion for reconsideration. The
court a quo had declared that herein respondent Cipriano Orbecido III is capacitated
to remarry. The fallo of the impugned Decision reads:
WHEREFORE, by virtue of the provision of the second paragraph of
Art. 26 of the Family Code and by reason of the divorce decree
obtained against him by his American wife, the petitioner is given
the capacity to remarry under the Philippine Law.
IT IS SO ORDERED.[3] At the outset, we note that the petition for authority to remarry filed before the trial
court actually constituted a petition for declaratory relief. In this connection, Section
1, Rule 63 of the Rules of Court provides:
The factual antecedents, as narrated by the trial court, are as follows. RULE 63
DECLARATORY RELIEF AND SIMILAR REMEDIES
On May 24, 1981, Cipriano Orbecido III married Lady Myros M. Villanueva at the
United Church of Christ in the Philippines in Lam-an, Ozamis City. Their marriage was Section 1. Who may file petitionAny person interested under a deed,
blessed with a son and a daughter, Kristoffer Simbortriz V. Orbecido and Lady Kimberly will, contract or other written instrument, or whose rights are
V. Orbecido. affected by a statute, executive order or regulation, ordinance, or
other governmental regulation may, before breach or violation
In 1986, Ciprianos wife left for the United States bringing along their son thereof, bring an action in the appropriate Regional Trial Court to
Kristoffer. A few years later, Cipriano discovered that his wife had been naturalized as determine any question of construction or validity arising, and for a
an American citizen. declaration of his rights or duties, thereunder.
...
Sometime in 2000, Cipriano learned from his son that his wife had obtained
a divorce decree and then married a certain Innocent Stanley. She, Stanley and her
child by him currently live at 5566 A. Walnut Grove Avenue, San Gabriel, California. The requisites of a petition for declaratory relief are: (1) there must be a justiciable
controversy; (2) the controversy must be between persons whose interests are
Cipriano thereafter filed with the trial court a petition for authority to remarry invoking adverse; (3) that the party seeking the relief has a legal interest in the controversy;
Paragraph 2 of Article 26 of the Family Code. No opposition was filed. Finding merit in and (4) that the issue is ripe for judicial determination.[8]
the petition, the court granted the same. The Republic, herein petitioner, through the
Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), sought reconsideration but it was denied. This case concerns the applicability of Paragraph 2 of Article 26 to a marriage
between two Filipino citizens where one later acquired alien citizenship, obtained a
In this petition, the OSG raises a pure question of law: divorce decree, and remarried while in the U.S.A. The interests of the parties are also
WHETHER OR NOT RESPONDENT CAN REMARRY UNDER ARTICLE 26 adverse, as petitioner representing the State asserts its duty to protect the institution
OF THE FAMILY CODE[4] of marriage while respondent, a private citizen, insists on a declaration of his capacity
to remarry. Respondent, praying for relief, has legal interest in the controversy. The
issue raised is also ripe for judicial determination inasmuch as when respondent
The OSG contends that Paragraph 2 of Article 26 of the Family Code is not applicable remarries, litigation ensues and puts into question the validity of his second marriage.
to the instant case because it only applies to a valid mixed marriage; that is, a marriage
celebrated between a Filipino citizen and an alien. The proper remedy, according to Coming now to the substantive issue, does Paragraph 2 of Article 26 of the Family
the OSG, is to file a petition for annulment or for legal separation.[5] Furthermore, the Code apply to the case of respondent? Necessarily, we must dwell on how this
OSG argues there is no law that governs respondents situation. The OSG posits that provision had come about in the first place, and what was the intent of the legislators
this is a matter of legislation and not of judicial determination.[6] in its enactment?

For his part, respondent admits that Article 26 is not directly applicable to his case but Brief Historical Background
insists that when his naturalized alien wife obtained a divorce decree which On July 6, 1987, then President Corazon Aquino signed into law Executive
capacitated her to remarry, he is likewise capacitated by operation of law pursuant to Order No. 209, otherwise known as the Family Code, which took effect on August 3,
Section 12, Article II of the Constitution.[7] 1988. Article 26 thereof states:
All marriages solemnized outside the Philippines in
accordance with the laws in force in the country where they were
solemnized, and valid there as such, shall also be valid in this considered to be validly divorced here and can re-marry.
country, except those prohibited under Articles 35, 37, and 38. We propose that this be deleted and made into law only
after more widespread consultation. (Emphasis supplied.)

On July 17, 1987, shortly after the signing of the original Family Code,
Executive Order No. 227 was likewise signed into law, amending Articles 26, 36, and Legislative Intent
39 of the Family Code. A second paragraph was added to Article 26. As so amended, Records of the proceedings of the Family Code deliberations showed that the
it now provides: intent of Paragraph 2 of Article 26, according to Judge Alicia Sempio-Diy, a member of
ART. 26. All marriages solemnized outside the Philippines the Civil Code Revision Committee, is to avoid the absurd situation where the Filipino
in accordance with the laws in force in the country where they were spouse remains married to the alien spouse who, after obtaining a divorce, is no longer
solemnized, and valid there as such, shall also be valid in this married to the Filipino spouse.
country, except those prohibited under Articles 35(1), (4), (5) and
(6), 36, 37 and 38. Interestingly, Paragraph 2 of Article 26 traces its origin to the 1985 case
of Van Dorn v. Romillo, Jr.[10] The Van Dorn case involved a marriage between a Filipino
Where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a citizen and a foreigner. The Court held therein that a divorce decree validly obtained
foreigner is validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter validly by the alien spouse is valid in the Philippines, and consequently, the Filipino spouse is
obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to capacitated to remarry under Philippine law.
remarry, the Filipino spouse shall have capacity to remarry under
Philippine law. (Emphasis supplied) Does the same principle apply to a case where at the time of the celebration
of the marriage, the parties were Filipino citizens, but later on, one of them obtains a
foreign citizenship by naturalization?
On its face, the foregoing provision does not appear to govern the situation
presented by the case at hand. It seems to apply only to cases where at the time of The jurisprudential answer lies latent in the 1998 case of Quita v. Court of
the celebration of the marriage, the parties are a Filipino citizen and a foreigner. The Appeals.[11] In Quita, the parties were, as in this case, Filipino citizens when they got
instant case is one where at the time the marriage was solemnized, the parties were married. The wife became a naturalized American citizen in 1954 and obtained a
two Filipino citizens, but later on, the wife was naturalized as an American citizen and divorce in the same year. The Court therein hinted, by way of obiter dictum, that a
subsequently obtained a divorce granting her capacity to remarry, and indeed she Filipino divorced by his naturalized foreign spouse is no longer married under
remarried an American citizen while residing in the U.S.A. Philippine law and can thus remarry.

Noteworthy, in the Report of the Public Hearings[9] on the Family Code, the Thus, taking into consideration the legislative intent and applying the rule of
Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) registered the following reason, we hold that Paragraph 2 of Article 26 should be interpreted to include cases
objections to Paragraph 2 of Article 26: involving parties who, at the time of the celebration of the marriage were Filipino
1. The rule is discriminatory. It discriminates against those citizens, but later on, one of them becomes naturalized as a foreign citizen and obtains
whose spouses are Filipinos who divorce them abroad. a divorce decree. The Filipino spouse should likewise be allowed to remarry as if the
These spouses who are divorced will not be able to re- other party were a foreigner at the time of the solemnization of the marriage. To rule
marry, while the spouses of foreigners who validly divorce otherwise would be to sanction absurdity and injustice. Where the interpretation of a
them abroad can. statute according to its exact and literal import would lead to mischievous results or
contravene the clear purpose of the legislature, it should be construed according to
2. This is the beginning of the recognition of the validity of
its spirit and reason, disregarding as far as necessary the letter of the law. A statute
divorce even for Filipino citizens. For those whose foreign
may therefore be extended to cases not within the literal meaning of its terms, so long
spouses validly divorce them abroad will also be
as they come within its spirit or intent.[12]
If we are to give meaning to the legislative intent to avoid the absurd situation decree can be recognized by our own courts, the party pleading it must prove the
where the Filipino spouse remains married to the alien spouse who, after obtaining a divorce as a fact and demonstrate its conformity to the foreign law allowing it.[14] Such
divorce is no longer married to the Filipino spouse, then the instant case must be foreign law must also be proved as our courts cannot take judicial notice of foreign
deemed as coming within the contemplation of Paragraph 2 of Article 26. laws. Like any other fact, such laws must be alleged and proved.[15] Furthermore,
respondent must also show that the divorce decree allows his former wife to remarry
In view of the foregoing, we state the twin elements for the application of as specifically required in Article 26. Otherwise, there would be no evidence sufficient
Paragraph 2 of Article 26 as follows: to declare that he is capacitated to enter into another marriage.

1. There is a valid marriage that has been celebrated Nevertheless, we are unanimous in our holding that Paragraph 2 of Article 26 of the
between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner; and Family Code (E.O. No. 209, as amended by E.O. No. 227), should be interpreted to
allow a Filipino citizen, who has been divorced by a spouse who had acquired foreign
2. A valid divorce is obtained abroad by the alien spouse citizenship and remarried, also to remarry. However, considering that in the present
capacitating him or her to remarry. petition there is no sufficient evidence submitted and on record, we are unable to
declare, based on respondents bare allegations that his wife, who was naturalized as
an American citizen, had obtained a divorce decree and had remarried an American,
that respondent is now capacitated to remarry. Such declaration could only be made
The reckoning point is not the citizenship of the parties at the time of the
properly upon respondents submission of the aforecited evidence in his favor.
celebration of the marriage, but their citizenship at the time a valid divorce is obtained
abroad by the alien spouse capacitating the latter to remarry.
ACCORDINGLY, the petition by the Republic of the Philippines is GRANTED. The
In this case, when Ciprianos wife was naturalized as an American citizen, assailed Decision dated May 15, 2002, and Resolution dated July 4, 2002, of the
there was still a valid marriage that has been celebrated between her and Cipriano. As Regional Trial Court of Molave, Zamboanga del Sur, Branch 23, are hereby SET ASIDE.
fate would have it, the naturalized alien wife subsequently obtained a valid divorce
capacitating her to remarry. Clearly, the twin requisites for the application of No pronouncement as to costs.
Paragraph 2 of Article 26 are both present in this case. Thus Cipriano, the divorced
Filipino spouse, should be allowed to remarry. SO ORDERED.

We are also unable to sustain the OSGs theory that the proper remedy of the
Filipino spouse is to file either a petition for annulment or a petition for legal
separation. Annulment would be a long and tedious process, and in this particular
case, not even feasible, considering that the marriage of the parties appears to have
all the badges of validity. On the other hand, legal separation would not be a sufficient
remedy for it would not sever the marriage tie; hence, the legally separated Filipino
spouse would still remain married to the naturalized alien spouse.

However, we note that the records are bereft of competent evidence duly submitted
by respondent concerning the divorce decree and the naturalization of respondents
wife. It is settled rule that one who alleges a fact has the burden of proving it and mere
allegation is not evidence.[13]

Accordingly, for his plea to prosper, respondent herein must prove his allegation that
his wife was naturalized as an American citizen. Likewise, before a foreign divorce
Republic of the Philippines On May 12, 1952, Arsenio de Loria and Ricarda de Loria filed this complaint to compel
SUPREME COURT defendant to an accounting and to deliver the properties left by the deceased. They
Manila are grandchildren of Adriana de la Cruz, sister of Matea, and claim to be the only
surviving forced heirs of the latter. Felipe Apelan Felix resisted the action, setting up
EN BANC his rights as widower. They obtained favorable judgment in the court of first instance,
but on appeal the Court of Appeals reversed and dismissed the complaint.
G.R. No. L-9005 June 20, 1958
Their request for review here was given due course principally to consider the legal
ARSENIO DE LORIA and RICARDA DE LORIA, petitioners, question-which they amply discussed in their petition and printed brief whether
vs. the events which took place in January 1945 constituted, in the eyes of the law, a valid
FELIPE APELAN FELIX, respondent. and binding marriage.

Guido Advincula and Nicanor Lapuz for petitioners. According to the Court of Appeals:
Nicodemus L. Dasig for respondent.
There is no doubt at all in the mind of this Court, that Fr. Gerardo Bautista,
BENGZON, J.: solemnized the marriage in articulo mortis of Defendant Apelan Felix and
Matea de la Cruz, on January 29 and 30, 1945, under the circumstances set
forth in the reverend's testimony in court. Fr. Bautista, a respectable old
Review of a decision of the Court of Appeals, involving the central issue of the validity
priest of Pasay City then, had no reason to side one or the other. . . .
of the marriage in articulo mortis between Matea de la Cruz and Felipe Apelan Felix.
Notwithstanding this positive evidence on the celebration or performance of
the marriage in question, Plaintiffs-Appellees contend that the same was not
It appears that long before, and during the War of the Pacific, these two persons lived
in articulo mortis, because Matea de la Cruz was not then on the point of
together as wife and husband at Cabrera Street, Pasay City. They acquired properties
death. Fr. Bautista clearly testified, however, that her condition at the time
but had no children. In the early part of the liberation of Manila and surrounding
was bad; she was bed-ridden; and according to his observation, she might die
territory, Matea be came seriously ill. Knowing her critical condition, two young ladies
at any moment (Exhibit 1), so apprehensive was he about her condition that
of legal age dedicated to the service of God, named Carmen Ordiales and Judith
he decided in administering to her the sacrament of extreme unction, after
Vizcarra1 visited and persuaded her to go to confession. They fetched Father Gerardo
hearing her confession. . . . .The greatest objection of the Appellees and the
Bautista, Catholic parish priest of Pasay. The latter, upon learning that the penitent
trial court against the validity of the marriage under consideration, is the
had been living with Felipe Apelan Felix without benefit of marriage, asked both
admitted fact that it was not registered.
parties to ratify their union according to the rites of his Church. Both agreed.
Whereupon the priest heard the confession of the bed-ridden old woman, gave her
The applicable legal provisions are contained in the Marriage Law of 1929 (Act No.
Holy Communion, administered the Sacrament of Extreme Unction and then
3613) as amended by Commonwealth Act No. 114 (Nov. 1936) specially sections 1, 3,
solemnized her marriage with Felipe Apelan Felix in articulo mortis,2 Carmen Ordiales
20 and 21.
and Judith Vizcarra acting as sponsors or witnesses. It was then January 29 or 30, 1945.

There is no question about the officiating priest's authority to solemnize marriage.


After a few months, Matea recovered from her sickness; but death was not to be
There is also no question that the parties had legal capacity to contract marriage, and
denied, and in January 1946, she was interred in Pasay, the same Fr. Bautista
that both declared before Fr. Bautista and Carmen Ordiales and Judith Vizcarra that
performing the burial ceremonies.
"they took each other as husband and wife."

The appellants' contention of invalidity rests on these propositions:


(a) There was no "marriage contract" signed by the wedded couple the witnesses and believe it is. The fact of marriage is one thing; the proof by which it may be established
the priest, as required by section 3 of the Marriage Law; and is quite another.

(b) The priest filed no affidavit, nor recorded the marriage with the local civil registry. Certificate and Record. Statutes relating to the solemnization of marriage
usually provide for the issuance of a certificate of marriage and for the
The factual basis of the first proposition no signing may seriously be doubted. registration or recording of marriage . . . Generally speaking, the registration
The Court of Appeals made no finding thereon. Indeed if anything, its decision or recording of a marriage is not essential to its validity, the statute being
impliedly held such marriage contract to have been executed, since it said "the addressed to the officials issuing the license, certifying the marriage, and
marriage in articulo mortis was a fact", and the only question at issue was whether making the proper return and registration or recording. (Sec. 27 American
"the failure of Fr. Bautista to send copies of the certificate of marriage in question to Jurisprudence "Marriage" p. 197-198.)
the Local Civil Registrar and to register the said marriage in the Record of Marriages
of the Pasay Catholic Church . . . renders the said marriage invalid." And such was the Formal Requisites. . . . The general rule, however, is that statutes which
only issue tendered in the court of first instance. (See p. 14, 34, Record on Appeal.) direct that a license must be issued and procured, that only certain persons
shall perform the ceremony, that a certain number of witnesses shall be
However, we may as well face this second issue: Does the failure to sign the "marriage present, that a certificate of the marriage shall be signed, returned, and
certificate or contract" constitute a cause for nullity? recorded, and that persons violating the conditions shall be guilty of a
criminal offense, are addressed to persons in authority to secure publicity
Marriage contract is the "instrument in triplicate" mentioned in sec. 3 of the Marriage and to require a record to be made of the marriage contract. Such statutes
Law which provides: do not void common-law marriages unless they do so expressly, even where
such marriage are entered into without obtaining a license and are not
recorded. It is the purpose of these statutes to discourage deception and
Sec. 3. Mutual Consent. No particular form for the ceremony of marriage
seduction, prevent illicit intercourse under the guise of matrimony, and
is required, but the parties with legal capacity to contract marriage must
relieve from doubt the status of parties who live together as man and wife, by
declare, in the presence of the person solemnizing the marriage and of two
providing competent evidence of the marriage. . . . (Section 15 American
witnesses of legal age, that they take each other as husband and wife. This
Jurisprudence "Marriage" pp. 188-189.) Emphasis Ours. (See also Corpus
declaration shall be set forth in an instrument in triplicate, signed by signature
Juris Secundum "Marriage" Sec. 33.)
or mark by the contracting parties and said two witnesses and attested by
the person solemnizing the marriage. . . . (Emphasis ours).
And our law says, "no marriage shall be declared invalid because of the absence of one
or several formal requirements of this Act . . . ." (Section 27.)
In the first place, the Marriage Law itself, in sections 28, 29 and 30 enumerates the
causes for annulment of marriage. Failure to sign the marriage contract is not one of
them. In the third place, the law, imposing on the priest the duty to furnish to the parties
copies of such marriage certificate (section 16) and punishing him for its omission
(section 41) implies his obligation to see that such "certificate" is executed
In the second place, bearing in mind that the "essential requisites for marriage are the
accordingly. Hence, it would not be fair to visit upon the wedded couple in the form
legal capacity of the contracting parties and their consent" (section 1), the latter being
of annulment, Father Bautista's omission, if any, which apparently had been caused
manifested by the declaration of "the parties" "in the presence of the person
by the prevailing disorder during the liberation of Manila and its environs.
solemnizing the marriage and of two witnesses of legal age that they take each other
as husband and wife" which in this case actually occurred.3 We think the signing of
the marriage contract or certificate was required by the statute simply for the purpose Identical remarks apply to the priest's failure to make and file the affidavit required by
of evidencing the act.4 No statutory provision or court ruling has been cited making it sections 20 and 21. It was the priest's obligation; non-compliance with it, should bring
an essential requisite not the formal requirement of evidentiary value, which we
no serious consequences to the married pair, specially where as in this case, it was Republic of the Philippines
caused by the emergency. SUPREME COURT
Manila
The mere fact that the parish priest who married the plaintiff's natural father
and mother, while the latter was in articulo mortis, failed to send a copy of EN BANC
the marriage certificate to the municipal secretary, does not invalidate said
marriage, since it does not appear that in the celebration thereof all G.R. No. 112019 January 4, 1995
requisites for its validity were not present, the forwarding of a copy of the
marriage certificate not being one of the requisites. (Jones vs. Hortiguela, 64 LEOUEL SANTOS, petitioner,
Phil. 179.) See also Madridejo vs. De Leon, 55 Phil. 1. vs.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS AND JULIA ROSARIO BEDIA-
The law permits in articulo mortis marriages, without marriage license; but it requires SANTOS, respondents.
the priest to make the affidavit and file it. Such affidavit contains the data usually
required for the issuance of a marriage license. The firstpractically substitutes the VITUG, J.:
latter. Now then, if a marriage celebrated without the license is not voidable (under
Act 3613),5 this marriage should not also be voidable for lack of such affidavit.
Concededly a highly, if not indeed the most likely, controversial provision introduced
by the Family Code is Article 36 (as amended by E.O. No. 227 dated 17 July 1987),
In line with the policy to encourage the legalization of the union of men and women which declares:
who have lived publicly in a state of concubinage 6, (section 22), we must hold this
marriage to be valid.
Art. 36. A marriage contracted by any party who, at the time of the
celebration, was psychologically incapacitated to comply with the
The widower, needless to add, has better rights to the estate of the deceased than essential marital obligations of marriage, shall likewise be void even
the plaintiffs who are the grandchildren of her sister Adriana. "In the absence of if such incapacity becomes manifest only after its solemnization.
brothers or sisters and of nephews, children of the former . . . the surviving spouse . .
. shall succeed to the entire estate of the deceased. (Art 952, Civil Code.)
The present petition for review on certiorari, at the instance of Leouel Santos
("Leouel"), brings into fore the above provision which is now invoked by him.
Wherefore, the Court of Appeals' decision is affirmed, with costs. So ordered. Undaunted by the decisions of the court a quo1 and the Court of
Appeal,2 Leouel persists in beseeching its application in his attempt to have
his marriage with herein private respondent, Julia Rosario Bedia-Santos
("Julia"), declared a nullity.

It was in Iloilo City where Leouel, who then held the rank of First Lieutenant in the
Philippine Army, first met Julia. The meeting later proved to be an eventful day for
Leouel and Julia. On 20 September 1986, the two exchanged vows before Municipal
Trial Court Judge Cornelio G. Lazaro of Iloilo City, followed, shortly thereafter, by a
church wedding. Leouel and Julia lived with the latter's parents at the J. Bedia
Compound, La Paz, Iloilo City. On 18 July 1987, Julia gave birth to a baby boy, and he
was christened Leouel Santos, Jr. The ecstasy, however, did not last long. It was bound
to happen, Leouel averred, because of the frequent interference by Julia's parents into
the young spouses family affairs. Occasionally, the couple would also start a "quarrel"
over a number of other things, like when and where the couple should start living Leouel argues that the failure of Julia to return home, or at the very least to
independently from Julia's parents or whenever Julia would express resentment on communicate with him, for more than five years are circumstances that clearly show
Leouel's spending a few days with his own parents. her being psychologically incapacitated to enter into married life. In his own words,
Leouel asserts:
On 18 May 1988, Julia finally left for the United Sates of America to work as a nurse
despite Leouel's pleas to so dissuade her. Seven months after her departure, or on 01 . . . (T)here is no leave, there is no affection for (him) because
January 1989, Julia called up Leouel for the first time by long distance telephone. She respondent Julia Rosario Bedia-Santos failed all these years to
promised to return home upon the expiration of her contract in July 1989. She never communicate with the petitioner. A wife who does not care to
did. When Leouel got a chance to visit the United States, where he underwent a inform her husband about her whereabouts for a period of five
training program under the auspices of the Armed Forces of the Philippines from 01 years, more or less, is psychologically incapacitated.
April up to 25 August 1990, he desperately tried to locate, or to somehow get in touch
with, Julia but all his efforts were of no avail. The family Code did not define the term "psychological incapacity." The deliberations
during the sessions of the Family Code Revision Committee, which has drafted the
Having failed to get Julia to somehow come home, Leouel filed with the regional trial Code, can, however, provide an insight on the import of the provision.
Court of Negros Oriental, Branch 30, a complaint for "Voiding of marriage Under
Article 36 of the Family Code" (docketed, Civil Case No. 9814). Summons was served Art. 35. The following marriages shall be void from the beginning:
by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in Negros Oriental.
xxx xxx xxx
On 31 May 1991, respondent Julia, in her answer (through counsel), opposed the
complaint and denied its allegations, claiming, in main, that it was the petitioner who Art. 36. . . .
had, in fact, been irresponsible and incompetent.
(7) Those marriages contracted by any party who, at the time of the
A possible collusion between the parties to obtain a decree of nullity of their marriage celebration, was wanting in the sufficient use of reason or judgment
was ruled out by the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor (in its report to the court). to understand the essential nature of marriage or was
psychologically or mentally incapacitated to discharge the essential
On 25 October 1991, after pre-trial conferences had repeatedly been marital obligations, even if such lack of incapacity is made manifest
set, albeit unsuccessfully, by the court, Julia ultimately filed a manifestation, stating after the celebration.
that she would neither appear nor submit evidence.
On subparagraph (7), which as lifted from the Canon Law, Justice
On 06 November 1991, the court a quo finally dismissed the complaint for lack of (Jose B.L.) Reyes suggested that they say "wanting in sufficient use,"
merit.3 but Justice (Eduardo) Caguioa preferred to say "wanting in the
sufficient use." On the other hand, Justice Reyes proposed that they
Leouel appealed to the Court of Appeal. The latter affirmed the decision of the trial say "wanting in sufficient reason." Justice Caguioa, however,
court.4 pointed out that the idea is that one is not lacking in judgment but
that he is lacking in the exercise of judgment. He added that lack of
The petition should be denied not only because of its non-compliance with Circular judgment would make the marriage voidable. Judge (Alicia Sempio-
28-91, which requires a certification of non-shopping, but also for its lack of merit. ) Diy remarked that lack of judgment is more serious than
insufficient use of judgment and yet the latter would make the
marriage null and void and the former only voidable. Justice Caguioa
suggested that subparagraph (7) be modified to read:
"That contracted by any party who, at the time of Justice Reyes pointed out that the problem is: Why is "insanity" a
the celebration, was psychologically ground for void ab initio marriages? In reply, Justice Caguioa
incapacitated to discharge the essential marital explained that insanity is curable and there are lucid intervals, while
obligations, even if such lack of incapacity is made psychological incapacity is not.
manifest after the celebration."
On another point, Justice Puno suggested that the phrase "even if
Justice Caguioa explained that the phrase "was wanting in sufficient such lack or incapacity is made manifest" be modified to read "even
use of reason of judgment to understand the essential nature of if such lack or incapacity becomes manifest."
marriage" refers to defects in the mental faculties vitiating consent,
which is not the idea in subparagraph (7), but lack of appreciation Justice Reyes remarked that in insanity, at the time of the marriage,
of one's marital obligations. it is not apparent.

Judge Diy raised the question: Since "insanity" is also a psychological Justice Caguioa stated that there are two interpretations of the
or mental incapacity, why is "insanity" only a ground for annulment phrase "psychological or mentally incapacitated" in the first one,
and not for declaration or nullity? In reply, Justice Caguioa explained there is vitiation of consent because one does not know all the
that in insanity, there is the appearance of consent, which is the consequences of the marriages, and if he had known these
reason why it is a ground for voidable marriages, while completely, he might not have consented to the marriage.
subparagraph (7) does not refer to consent but to the very essence
of marital obligations. xxx xxx xxx

Prof. (Araceli) Baviera suggested that, in subparagraph (7), the word Prof. Bautista stated that he is in favor of making psychological
"mentally" be deleted, with which Justice Caguioa concurred. Judge incapacity a ground for voidable marriages since otherwise it will
Diy, however, prefers to retain the word "mentally." encourage one who really understood the consequences of
marriage to claim that he did not and to make excuses for
Justice Caguioa remarked that subparagraph (7) refers to invalidating the marriage by acting as if he did not understand the
psychological impotence. Justice (Ricardo) Puno stated that obligations of marriage. Dean Gupit added that it is a loose way of
sometimes a person may be psychologically impotent with one but providing for divorce.
not with another. Justice (Leonor Ines-) Luciano said that it is called
selective impotency. xxx xxx xxx

Dean (Fortunato) Gupit stated that the confusion lies in the fact that Justice Caguioa explained that his point is that in the case of
in inserting the Canon Law annulment in the Family Code, the incapacity by reason of defects in the mental faculties, which is less
Committee used a language which describes a ground for voidable than insanity, there is a defect in consent and, therefore, it is clear
marriages under the Civil Code. Justice Caguioa added that in Canon that it should be a ground for voidable marriage because there is
Law, there are voidable marriages under the Canon Law, there are the appearance of consent and it is capable of convalidation for the
no voidable marriages Dean Gupit said that this is precisely the simple reason that there are lucid intervals and there are cases
reason why they should make a distinction. when the insanity is curable. He emphasized that psychological
incapacity does not refer to mental faculties and has nothing to do
Justice Puno remarked that in Canon Law, the defects in marriage with consent; it refers to obligations attendant to marriage.
cannot be cured.
xxx xxx xxx incapacity will not apply if the marriage was contracted at the time
when there is understanding of the consequences of marriage.5
On psychological incapacity, Prof. (Flerida Ruth P.) Romero inquired
if they do not consider it as going to the very essence of consent. xxx xxx xxx
She asked if they are really removing it from consent. In reply,
Justice Caguioa explained that, ultimately, consent in general is Judge Diy proposed that they include physical incapacity to copulate
effected but he stressed that his point is that it is not principally a among the grounds for void marriages. Justice Reyes commented
vitiation of consent since there is a valid consent. He objected to the that in some instances the impotence that in some instances the
lumping together of the validity of the marriage celebration and the impotence is only temporary and only with respect to a particular
obligations attendant to marriage, which are completely different person. Judge Diy stated that they can specify that it is incurable.
from each other, because they require a different capacity, which is Justice Caguioa remarked that the term "incurable" has a different
eighteen years of age, for marriage but in contract, it is different. meaning in law and in medicine. Judge Diy stated that "psychological
Justice Puno, however, felt that psychological incapacity is still a incapacity" can also be cured. Justice Caguioa, however, pointed out
kind of vice of consent and that it should not be classified as a that "psychological incapacity" is incurable.
voidable marriage which is incapable of convalidation; it should be
convalidated but there should be no prescription. In other words, as Justice Puno observed that under the present draft provision, it is
long as the defect has not been cured, there is always a right to enough to show that at the time of the celebration of the marriage,
annul the marriage and if the defect has been really cured, it should one was psychologically incapacitated so that later on if already he
be a defense in the action for annulment so that when the action can comply with the essential marital obligations, the marriage is
for annulment is instituted, the issue can be raised that actually, still void ab initio. Justice Caguioa explained that since in divorce,
although one might have been psychologically incapacitated, at the the psychological incapacity may occur after the marriage, in void
time the action is brought, it is no longer true that he has no concept marriages, it has to be at the time of the celebration of marriage.
of the consequence of marriage. He, however, stressed that the idea in the provision is that at the
time of the celebration of the marriage, one is psychologically
Prof. (Esteban) Bautista raised the question: Will not cohabitation incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations,
be a defense? In response, Justice Puno stated that even the bearing which incapacity continues and later becomes manifest.
of children and cohabitation should not be a sign that psychological
incapacity has been cured. Justice Puno and Judge Diy, however, pointed out that it is possible
that after the marriage, one's psychological incapacity become
Prof. Romero opined that psychological incapacity is still insanity of manifest but later on he is cured. Justice Reyes and Justice Caguioa
a lesser degree. Justice Luciano suggested that they invite a opined that the remedy in this case is to allow him to remarry.6
psychiatrist, who is the expert on this matter. Justice Caguioa,
however, reiterated that psychological incapacity is not a defect in xxx xxx xxx
the mind but in the understanding of the consequences of marriage,
and therefore, a psychiatrist will not be a help.
Justice Puno formulated the next Article as follows:

Prof. Bautista stated that, in the same manner that there is a lucid
Art. 37. A marriage contracted by any party who,
interval in insanity, there are also momentary periods when there is
at the time of the celebration, was psychologically
an understanding of the consequences of marriage. Justice Reyes
incapacitated, to comply with the essential
and Dean Gupit remarked that the ground of psychological
obligations of marriage shall likewise be void from
the beginning even if such incapacity becomes At this point, Justice Puno, remarked that, since there having been
manifest after its solemnization. annulments of marriages arising from psychological incapacity, Civil
Law should not reconcile with Canon Law because it is a new ground
Justice Caguioa suggested that "even if" be substituted with even under Canon Law.
"although." On the other hand, Prof. Bautista proposed that the
clause "although such incapacity becomes manifest after its Prof. Romero raised the question: With this common provision in
solemnization" be deleted since it may encourage one to create the Civil Law and in Canon Law, are they going to have a provision in the
manifestation of psychological incapacity. Justice Caguioa pointed Family Code to the effect that marriages annulled or declared void
out that, as in other provisions, they cannot argue on the basis of by the church on the ground of psychological incapacity is
abuse. automatically annulled in Civil Law? The other members replied
negatively.
Judge Diy suggested that they also include mental and physical
incapacities, which are lesser in degree than psychological Justice Puno and Prof. Romero inquired if Article 37 should be
incapacity. Justice Caguioa explained that mental and physical retroactive or prospective in application.
incapacities are vices of consent while psychological incapacity is
not a species of vice or consent. Justice Diy opined that she was for its retroactivity because it is their
answer to the problem of church annulments of marriages, which
Dean Gupit read what Bishop Cruz said on the matter in the minutes are still valid under the Civil Law. On the other hand, Justice Reyes
of their February 9, 1984 meeting: and Justice Puno were concerned about the avalanche of cases.

"On the third ground, Bishop Cruz indicated that Dean Gupit suggested that they put the issue to a vote, which the
the phrase "psychological or mental impotence" Committee approved.
is an invention of some churchmen who are
moralists but not canonists, that is why it is The members voted as follows:
considered a weak phrase. He said that the Code
of Canon Law would rather express it as (1) Justice Reyes, Justice Puno and Prof. Romero were for
"psychological or mental incapacity to discharge . prospectivity.
. ."
(2) Justice Caguioa, Judge Diy, Dean Gupit, Prof. Bautista and
Justice Caguioa remarked that they deleted the word "mental" Director Eufemio were for retroactivity.
precisely to distinguish it from vice of consent. He explained that
"psychological incapacity" refers to lack of understanding of the
(3) Prof. Baviera abstained.
essential obligations of marriage.
Justice Caguioa suggested that they put in the prescriptive period of
Justice Puno reminded the members that, at the last meeting, they
ten years within which the action for declaration of nullity of the
have decided not to go into the classification of "psychological
marriage should be filed in court. The Committee approved the
incapacity" because there was a lot of debate on it and that this is
suggestion.7
precisely the reason why they classified it as a special case.
It could well be that, in sum, the Family Code Revision Committee in ultimately The history of the drafting of this canon does not leave any doubt
deciding to adopt the provision with less specificity than expected, has in fact, so that the legislator intended, indeed, to broaden the rule. A strict and
designed the law as to allow some resiliency in its application. Mme. Justice Alicia V. narrow norm was proposed first:
Sempio-Diy, a member of the Code Committee, has been quoted by Mr. Justice Josue
N. Bellosillo in Salita vs. Hon. Magtolis (G.R. No. 106429, 13 June 1994); thus:8 Those who cannot assume the essential
obligations of marriage because of a grave
The Committee did not give any examples of psychological psycho-sexual anomaly (ob gravem anomaliam
incapacity for fear that the giving of examples would limit the psychosexualem) are unable to contract marriage
applicability of the provision under the principle of ejusdem generis. (cf. SCH/1975, canon 297, a new canon, novus);
Rather, the Committee would like the judge to interpret the
provision on a case-to-case basis, guided by experience, the findings then a broader one followed:
of experts and researchers in psychological disciplines, and by
decisions of church tribunals which, although not binding on the civil . . . because of a grave psychological anomaly (ob gravem
courts, may be given persuasive effect since the provision was taken anomaliam psychicam) . . . (cf. SCH/1980, canon 1049);
from Canon Law.
then the same wording was retained in the text submitted to the
A part of the provision is similar to Canon 1095 of the New Code of Canon Law,9 which pope (cf. SCH/1982, canon 1095, 3);
reads:
finally, a new version was promulgated:
Canon 1095. They are incapable of contracting marriage:
because of causes of a psychological nature (ob causas naturae
1. who lack sufficient use of reason; psychiae).

2. who suffer from a grave defect of discretion of judgment So the progress was from psycho-sexual to psychological anomaly,
concerning essentila matrimonial rights and duties, to be given and then the term anomaly was altogether eliminated. it would be,
accepted mutually; however, incorrect to draw the conclusion that the cause of the
incapacity need not be some kind of psychological disorder; after
3. who for causes of psychological nature are unable to assume the all, normal and healthy person should be able to assume the
essential obligations of marriage. (Emphasis supplied.) ordinary obligations of marriage.

Accordingly, although neither decisive nor even perhaps all that persuasive for having Fr. Orsy concedes that the term "psychological incapacity" defies any precise
no juridical or secular effect, the jurisprudence under Canon Law prevailing at the time definition since psychological causes can be of an infinite variety.
of the code's enactment, nevertheless, cannot be dismissed as impertinent for its
value as an aid, at least, to the interpretation or construction of the codal provision. In a book, entitled "Canons and Commentaries on Marriage," written by Ignatius
Gramunt, Javier Hervada and LeRoy Wauck, the following explanation appears:
One author, Ladislas Orsy, S.J., in his treaties, 10 giving an account on how the third
paragraph of Canon 1095 has been framed, states: This incapacity consists of the following: (a) a true inability to
commit oneself to the essentials of marriage. Some psychosexual
disorders and other disorders of personality can be the psychic
cause of this defect, which is here described in legal terms. This precepts in our law on marriage. Thus correlated, "psychological incapacity" should
particular type of incapacity consists of a real inability to render refer to no less than a mental (not physical) incapacity that causes a party to be truly
what is due by the contract. This could be compared to the incognitive of the basic marital covenants that concomitantly must be assumed and
incapacity of a farmer to enter a binding contract to deliver the discharged by the parties to the marriage which, as so expressed by Article 68 of the
crops which he cannot possibly reap; (b) this inability to commit Family Code, include their mutual obligations to live together, observe love, respect
oneself must refer to the essential obligations of marriage: the and fidelity and render help and support. There is hardly any doubt that the
conjugal act, the community of life and love, the rendering of intendment of the law has been to confine the meaning of "psychological incapacity"
mutual help, the procreation and education of offspring; (c) the to the most serious cases of personality disorders clearly demonstrative of an utter
inability must be tantamount to a psychological abnormality. The intensitivity or inability to give meaning and significance to the marriage. This
mere difficulty of assuming these obligations, which could be pschologic condition must exist at the time the marriage is celebrated. The law does
overcome by normal effort, obviously does not constitute incapacity. not evidently envision, upon the other hand, an inability of the spouse to have sexual
The canon contemplates a true psychological disorder which relations with the other. This conclusion is implicit under Article 54 of the Family Code
incapacitates a person from giving what is due (cf. John Paul II, which considers children conceived prior to the judicial declaration of nullity of the
Address to R. Rota, Feb. 5, 1987). However, if the marriage is to be void marriage to be "legitimate."
declared invalid under this incapacity, it must be proved not only
that the person is afflicted by a psychological defect, but that the The other forms of psychoses, if existing at the inception of marriage, like the state of
defect did in fact deprive the person, at the moment of giving a party being of unsound mind or concealment of drug addiction, habitual alcoholism,
consent, of the ability to assume the essential duties of marriage homosexuality or lesbianism, merely renders the marriage contract voidable pursuant
and consequently of the possibility of being bound by these duties. to Article 46, Family Code. If drug addiction, habitual alcholism, lesbianism or
homosexuality should occur only during the marriage, they become mere grounds for
Justice Sempio-Diy 11 cites with approval the work of Dr. Gerardo Veloso, a former legal separation under Article 55 of the Family Code. These provisions of the Code,
Presiding Judge of the Metropolitan Marriage Tribunal of the Catholic Archdiocese of however, do not necessarily preclude the possibility of these various circumstances
Manila (Branch 1), who opines that psychological incapacity must be characterized by being themselves, depending on the degree and severity of the disorder, indicia of
(a) gravity, (b) juridical antecedence, and (c) incurability. The incapacity must be grave psychological incapacity.
or serious such that the party would be incapable of carrying out the ordinary duties
required in marriage; it must be rooted in the history of the party antedating the Until further statutory and jurisprudential parameters are established, every
marriage, although the overt manifestations may emerge only after the marriage; and circumstance that may have some bearing on the degree, extent, and other conditions
it must be incurable or, even if it were otherwise, the cure would be beyond the means of that incapacity must, in every case, be carefully examined and evaluated so that no
of the party involved. precipitate and indiscriminate nullity is peremptorily decreed. The well-considered
opinions of psychiatrists, psychologists, and persons with expertise in psychological
It should be obvious, looking at all the foregoing disquisitions, including, and most disciplines might be helpful or even desirable.
importantly, the deliberations of the Family Code Revision Committee itself, that the
use of the phrase "psychological incapacity" under Article 36 of the Code has not been Marriage is not an adventure but a lifetime commitment. We should continue to be
meant to comprehend all such possible cases of psychoses as, likewise mentioned by reminded that innate in our society, then enshrined in our Civil Code, and even now
some ecclesiastical authorities, extremely low intelligence, immaturity, and like still indelible in Article 1 of the Family Code, is that
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 Art. 1. Marriage is a special contract of permanent union between a
Manual of Mental Disorder by the American Psychiatric Association; Edward Hudson's man a woman entered into in accordance with law for the
"Handbook II for Marriage Nullity Cases"). Article 36 of the Family Code cannot be establishment of conjugal and family life. It is the foundation of the
taken and construed independently of, but must stand in conjunction with, existing family and an inviolable social institution whose nature,
consequences, and incidents are governed by law and not subject FIRST DIVISION
to stipulation, except that marriage settlements may fix the [G.R. No. 133778. March 14, 2000]
property relations during the marriage within the limits provided by
this Code. (Emphasis supplied.) ENGRACE NIAL for Herself and as Guardian ad Litem of the minors BABYLINE NIAL,
INGRID NIAL, ARCHIE NIAL & PEPITO NIAL, JR., petitioners,
Our Constitution is no less emphatic: Vs
NORMA BAYADOG, respondent. Ncmmis
Sec. 1. The State recognizes the Filipino family as the foundation of
the nation. Accordingly, it shall strengthen its solidarity and actively DECISION
promote its total development.
YNARES_SANTIAGO, J.:
Sec. 2. Marriage, as an inviolable social institution, is the foundation
of the family and shall be protected by the State. (Article XV, 1987 May the heirs of a deceased person file a petition for the declaration of nullity of his
Constitution). marriage after his death?

The above provisions express so well and so distinctly the basic nucleus of our laws on Pepito Nial was married to Teodulfa Bellones on September 26, 1974. Out of their
marriage and the family, and they are doubt the tenets we still hold on to. marriage were born herein petitioners. Teodulfa was shot by Pepito resulting in her
death on April 24, 1985. One year and 8 months thereafter or on December 11, 1986,
The factual settings in the case at bench, in no measure at all, can come close to the Pepito and respondent Norma Badayog got married without any marriage license. In
standards required to decree a nullity of marriage. Undeniably and understandably, lieu thereof, Pepito and Norma executed an affidavit dated December 11, 1986 stating
Leouel stands aggrieved, even desperate, in his present situation. Regrettably, neither that they had lived together as husband and wife for at least five years and were thus
law nor society itself can always provide all the specific answers to every individual exempt from securing a marriage license. On February 19, 1997, Pepito died in a car
problem. accident. After their fathers death, petitioners filed a petition for declaration of nullity
of the marriage of Pepito to Norma alleging that the said marriage was void for lack of
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. a marriage license. The case was filed under the assumption that the validity or
invalidity of the second marriage would affect petitioners successional rights. Norma
SO ORDERED. filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that petitioners have no cause of action since
they are not among the persons who could file an action for "annulment of marriage"
under Article 47 of the Family Code.

Judge Ferdinand J. Marcos of the Regional Trial Court of Toledo City, Cebu, Branch 59,
dismissed the petition after finding that the Family Code is "rather silent, obscure,
insufficient" to resolve the following issues:

(1) Whether or not plaintiffs have a cause of action against


defendant in asking for the declaration of the nullity of marriage of
their deceased father, Pepito G. Nial, with her specially so when at
the time of the filing of this instant suit, their father Pepito G. Nial is
already dead;
(2) Whether or not the second marriage of plaintiffs deceased father exposing the parties to humiliation, shame and embarrassment concomitant with the
with defendant is null and void ab initio; scandalous cohabitation of persons outside a valid marriage due to the publication of
every applicants name for a marriage license. The publicity attending the marriage
(3) Whether or not plaintiffs are estopped from assailing the validity license may discourage such persons from legitimizing their status.[15] To preserve
of the second marriage after it was dissolved due to their fathers peace in the family, avoid the peeping and suspicious eye of public exposure and
death.[1] contain the source of gossip arising from the publication of their names, the law
deemed it wise to preserve their privacy and exempt them from that
Thus, the lower court ruled that petitioners should have filed the action to declare null requirement. Sdaa miso
and void their fathers marriage to respondent before his death, applying by analogy
Article 47 of the Family Code which enumerates the time and the persons who could There is no dispute that the marriage of petitioners father to respondent Norma was
initiate an action for annulment of marriage.[2] Hence, this petition for review with this celebrated without any marriage license. In lieu thereof, they executed an affidavit
Court grounded on a pure question of law. Scnc m stating that "they have attained the age of majority, and, being unmarried, have lived
together as husband and wife for at least five years, and that we now desire to marry
This petition was originally dismissed for non-compliance with Section 11, Rule 13 of each other."[16] The only issue that needs to be resolved pertains to what nature of
the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, and because "the verification failed to state the cohabitation is contemplated under Article 76 of the Civil Code to warrant the
basis of petitioners averment that the allegations in the petition are true and correct." counting of the five year period in order to exempt the future spouses from securing
It was thus treated as an unsigned pleading which produces no legal effect under a marriage license. Should it be a cohabitation wherein both parties are capacitated
Section 3, Rule 7, of the 1997 Rules.[3] However, upon motion of petitioners, this Court to marry each other during the entire five-year continuous period or should it be a
reconsidered the dismissal and reinstated the petition for review.[4] cohabitation wherein both parties have lived together and exclusively with each other
as husband and wife during the entire five-year continuous period regardless of
whether there is a legal impediment to their being lawfully married, which
The two marriages involved herein having been solemnized prior to the effectivity of
impediment may have either disappeared or intervened sometime during the
the Family Code (FC), the applicable law to determine their validity is the Civil Code
cohabitation period?
which was the law in effect at the time of their celebration.[5] A valid marriage license
is a requisite of marriage under Article 53 of the Civil Code, [6] the absence of which
renders the marriage void ab initio pursuant to Article 80(3)[7] in relation to Article Working on the assumption that Pepito and Norma have lived together as husband
58.[8] The requirement and issuance of marriage license is the States demonstration and wife for five years without the benefit of marriage, that five-year period should
of its involvement and participation in every marriage, in the maintenance of which be computed on the basis of a cohabitation as "husband and wife" where the only
the general public is interested.[9] This interest proceeds from the constitutional missing factor is the special contract of marriage to validate the union. In other words,
mandate that the State recognizes the sanctity of family life and of affording the five-year common-law cohabitation period, which is counted back from the date
protection to the family as a basic "autonomous social institution."[10] Specifically, the of celebration of marriage, should be a period of legal union had it not been for the
Constitution considers marriage as an "inviolable social institution," and is the absence of the marriage. This 5-year period should be the years immediately before
foundation of family life which shall be protected by the State.[11] This is why the the day of the marriage and it should be a period of cohabitation characterized by
Family Code considers marriage as "a special contract of permanent union"[12] and exclusivity meaning no third party was involved at any time within the 5 years and
case law considers it "not just an adventure but a lifetime commitment." [13] continuity that is unbroken. Otherwise, if that continuous 5-year cohabitation is
computed without any distinction as to whether the parties were capacitated to marry
each other during the entire five years, then the law would be sanctioning immorality
However, there are several instances recognized by the Civil Code wherein a marriage
and encouraging parties to have common law relationships and placing them on the
license is dispensed with, one of which is that provided in Article 76, [14] referring to
same footing with those who lived faithfully with their spouse. Marriage being a
the marriage of a man and a woman who have lived together and exclusively with each
special relationship must be respected as such and its requirements must be strictly
other as husband and wife for a continuous and unbroken period of at least five years
observed. The presumption that a man and a woman deporting themselves as
before the marriage. The rationale why no license is required in such case is to avoid
husband and wife is based on the approximation of the requirements of the law. The their wedding day. From the time Pepitos first marriage was dissolved to the time of
parties should not be afforded any excuse to not comply with every single requirement his marriage with respondent, only about twenty months had elapsed. Even assuming
and later use the same missing element as a pre-conceived escape ground to nullify that Pepito and his first wife had separated in fact, and thereafter both Pepito and
their marriage. There should be no exemption from securing a marriage license unless respondent had started living with each other that has already lasted for five years,
the circumstances clearly fall within the ambit of the exception. It should be noted the fact remains that their five-year period cohabitation was not the cohabitation
that a license is required in order to notify the public that two persons are about to be contemplated by law. It should be in the nature of a perfect union that is valid under
united in matrimony and that anyone who is aware or has knowledge of any the law but rendered imperfect only by the absence of the marriage contract. Pepito
impediment to the union of the two shall make it known to the local civil had a subsisting marriage at the time when he started cohabiting with respondent. It
registrar.[17] The Civil Code provides: is immaterial that when they lived with each other, Pepito had already been separated
in fact from his lawful spouse. The subsistence of the marriage even where there was
Article 63: "x x x. This notice shall request all persons having actual severance of the filial companionship between the spouses cannot make any
knowledge of any impediment to the marriage to advice the local cohabitation by either spouse with any third party as being one as "husband and
civil registrar thereof. x x x." wife". Scs daad

Article 64: "Upon being advised of any alleged impediment to the Having determined that the second marriage involved in this case is not covered by
marriage, the local civil registrar shall forthwith make an the exception to the requirement of a marriage license, it is void ab initio because of
investigation, examining persons under oath. x x x" Sdaad the absence of such element.

This is reiterated in the Family Code thus: The next issue to be resolved is: do petitioners have the personality to file a petition
to declare their fathers marriage void after his death?
Article 17 provides in part: "x x x. This notice shall request all persons
having knowledge of any impediment to the marriage to advise the Contrary to respondent judges ruling, Article 47 of the Family Code [20] cannot be
local civil registrar thereof. x x x." applied even by analogy to petitions for declaration of nullity of marriage. The second
ground for annulment of marriage relied upon by the trial court, which allows "the
Article 18 reads in part: "x x x. In case of any impediment known to sane spouse" to file an annulment suit "at any time before the death of either party"
the local civil registrar or brought to his attention, he shall note is inapplicable. Article 47 pertains to the grounds, periods and persons who can file an
down the particulars thereof and his findings thereon in the annulment suit, not a suit for declaration of nullity of marriage. The Code is silent as
application for a marriage license. x x x." to who can file a petition to declare the nullity of a marriage. Voidable and void
marriages are not identical. A marriage that is annulable is valid until otherwise
declared by the court; whereas a marriage that is void ab initio is considered as having
This is the same reason why our civil laws, past or present, absolutely prohibited the
never to have taken place[21] and cannot be the source of rights. The first can be
concurrence of multiple marriages by the same person during the same period. Thus,
generally ratified or confirmed by free cohabitation or prescription while the other can
any marriage subsequently contracted during the lifetime of the first spouse shall be
never be ratified. A voidable marriage cannot be assailed collaterally except in a direct
illegal and void,[18] subject only to the exception in cases of absence or where the prior
proceeding while a void marriage can be attacked collaterally. Consequently, void
marriage was dissolved or annulled. The Revised Penal Code complements the civil
marriages can be questioned even after the death of either party but voidable
law in that the contracting of two or more marriages and the having of extramarital
marriages can be assailed only during the lifetime of the parties and not after death
affairs are considered felonies, i.e., bigamy and concubinage and adultery.[19] The law
of either, in which case the parties and their offspring will be left as if the marriage
sanctions monogamy.
had been perfectly valid.[22] That is why the action or defense for nullity is
imprescriptible, unlike voidable marriages where the action prescribes. Only the
In this case, at the time of Pepito and respondents marriage, it cannot be said that
parties to a voidable marriage can assail it but any proper interested party may attack
they have lived with each other as husband and wife for at least five years prior to
a void marriage. Void marriages have no legal effects except those declared by law However, other than for purposes of remarriage, no judicial action is necessary to
concerning the properties of the alleged spouses, regarding co-ownership or declare a marriage an absolute nullity. For other purposes, such as but not limited to
ownership through actual joint contribution,[23] and its effect on the children born to determination of heirship, legitimacy or illegitimacy of a child, settlement of estate,
such void marriages as provided in Article 50 in relation to Article 43 and 44 as well as dissolution of property regime, or a criminal case for that matter, the court may pass
Article 51, 53 and 54 of the Family Code. On the contrary, the property regime upon the validity of marriage even in a suit not directly instituted to question the same
governing voidable marriages is generally conjugal partnership and the children so long as it is essential to the determination of the case. This is without prejudice to
conceived before its annulment are legitimate. Sup rema any issue that may arise in the case. When such need arises, a final judgment of
declaration of nullity is necessary even if the purpose is other than to remarry. The
Contrary to the trial courts ruling, the death of petitioners father extinguished the clause "on the basis of a final judgment declaring such previous marriage void" in
alleged marital bond between him and respondent. The conclusion is erroneous and Article 40 of the Family Code connotes that such final judgment need not be obtained
proceeds from a wrong premise that there was a marriage bond that was dissolved only for purpose of remarriage.
between the two. It should be noted that their marriage was void hence it is deemed
as if it never existed at all and the death of either extinguished nothing. WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The assailed Order of the Regional Trial Court,
Toledo City, Cebu, Branch 59, dismissing Civil Case No. T-639, is REVERSED and SET
Jurisprudence under the Civil Code states that no judicial decree is necessary in order ASIDE. The said case is ordered REINSTATED.
to establish the nullity of a marriage.[24] "A void marriage does not require a judicial
decree to restore the parties to their original rights or to make the marriage void but SO ORDERED.
though no sentence of avoidance be absolutely necessary, yet as well for the sake of
good order of society as for the peace of mind of all concerned, it is expedient that
the nullity of the marriage should be ascertained and declared by the decree of a court
of competent jurisdiction."[25] "Under ordinary circumstances, the effect of a void
marriage, so far as concerns the conferring of legal rights upon the parties, is as though
no marriage had ever taken place. And therefore, being good for no legal purpose, its
invalidity can be maintained in any proceeding in which the fact of marriage may be
material, either direct or collateral, in any civil court between any parties at any time,
whether before or after the death of either or both the husband and the wife, and
upon mere proof of the facts rendering such marriage void, it will be disregarded or
treated as non-existent by the courts." It is not like a voidable marriage which cannot
be collaterally attacked except in direct proceeding instituted during the lifetime of
the parties so that on the death of either, the marriage cannot be impeached, and is
made good ab initio.[26] But Article 40 of the Family Code expressly provides that there
must be a judicial declaration of the nullity of a previous marriage, though void, before
a party can enter into a second marriage[27] and such absolute nullity can be based
only on a final judgment to that effect.[28] For the same reason, the law makes either
the action or defense for the declaration of absolute nullity of marriage
imprescriptible.[29] Corollarily, if the death of either party would extinguish the cause
of action or the ground for defense, then the same cannot be considered
imprescriptible. Juris
SECOND DIVISION an investigation to determine if there was collusion between the parties.[7] Only
[G.R. No. 126010. December 8, 1999] petitioner appeared at the investigation on November 5, 1992. Nevertheless, the
LUCITA ESTRELLA HERNANDEZ, petitioner prosecutor found no evidence of collusion and recommended that the case be set for
vs. trial.[8]
COURT OF APPEALS and MARIO C. HERNANDEZ, respondents.
Based on the evidence presented by the petitioner, the facts are as follows:[9]
DECISION Petitioner and private respondent met in 1977 at the Philippine Christian
University in Dasmarias, Cavite. Petitioner, who is five years older than private
MENDOZA, J.:
respondent, was then in her first year of teaching zoology and botany. Private
respondent, a college freshman, was her student for two consecutive semesters. They
This is a petition for review on certiorari of the decision[1] of the Court of Appeals, became sweethearts in February 1979 when she was no longer private respondents
dated January 30, 1996, affirming the decision of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 18, teacher. On January 1, 1981, they were married.
Tagaytay City, dated April 10, 1993, which dismissed the petition for annulment of
marriage filed by petitioner. Private respondent continued his studies for two more years. His parents paid
for his tuition fees, while petitioner provided his allowances and other financial
Petitioner Lucita Estrella Hernandez and private respondent Mario C. Hernandez needs. The family income came from petitioners salary as a faculty member of the
were married at the Silang Catholic Parish Church in Silang, Cavite on January 1, 1981 Philippine Christian University. Petitioner augmented her earnings by selling
(Exh. A).[2] Three children were born to them, namely, Maie, who was born on May 3, Tupperware products, as well as engaging in the buy-and-sell of coffee, rice
1982 (Exh. B),[3] Lyra, born on May 22, 1985 (Exh. C),[4] and Marian, born on June 15, and polvoron.
1989 (Exh. D).[5]
From 1983 up to 1986, as private respondent could not find a stable job, it was
On July 10, 1992, petitioner filed before the Regional Trial Court, Branch 18, agreed that he would help petitioner in her businesses by delivering orders to
Tagaytay City, a petition seeking the annulment of her marriage to private respondent customers. However, because her husband was a spendthrift and had other women,
on the ground of psychological incapacity of the latter. She alleged that from the time petitioners business suffered. Private respondent often had smoking and drinking
of their marriage up to the time of the filing of the suit, private respondent failed to sprees with his friends and betted on fighting cocks. In 1982, after the birth of their
perform his obligation to support the family and contribute to the management of the first child, petitioner discovered two love letters written by a certain Realita Villena to
household, devoting most of his time engaging in drinking sprees with his friends. She private respondent. She knew Villena as a married student whose husband was
further claimed that private respondent, after they were married, cohabited with working in Saudi Arabia. When petitioner confronted private respondent, he admitted
another woman with whom he had an illegitimate child, while having affairs with having an extra-marital affair with Villena. Petitioner then pleaded with Villena to end
different women, and that, because of his promiscuity, private respondent her relationship with private respondent. For his part, private respondent said he
endangered her health by infecting her with a sexually transmissible disease (STD). She would end the affairs, but he did not keep his promise.Instead, he left the conjugal
averred that private respondent was irresponsible, immature and unprepared for the home and abandoned petitioner and their child. When private respondent came back,
duties of a married life. Petitioner prayed that for having abandoned the family, however, petitioner accepted him, despite private respondents infidelity in the hope
private respondent be ordered to give support to their three children in the total of saving their marriage.
amount of P9,000.00 every month; that she be awarded the custody of their children;
and that she be adjudged as the sole owner of a parcel of land located at Don Gregorio Upon the recommendation of a family friend, private respondent was able to get
Subdivision I in Bo. Bucal, Dasmarias, Cavite, purchased during the marriage, as well a job at Reynolds Philippines, Inc. in San Agustin, Dasmarias, Cavite in 1986. However,
as the jeep which private respondent took with him when he left the conjugal home private respondent was employed only until March 31, 1991, because he availed
on June 12, 1992.[6] himself of the early retirement plan offered by the company. He received P53,000.00
in retirement pay, but instead of spending the amount for the needs of the family,
On October 8, 1992, because of private respondents failure to file his answer, private respondent spent the money on himself and consumed the entire amount
the trial court issued an order directing the assistant provincial prosecutor to conduct within four months of his retirement.
While private respondent worked at Reynolds Philippines, Inc., his smoking, Ester Alfaro, petitioners childhood friend and co-teacher at the Philippine
drinking, gambling and womanizing became worse. Petitioner discovered that private Christian University, testified during the hearing on the petition for annulment. She
respondent carried on relationships with different women. He had relations with a said that sometime in June 1979, petitioner introduced private respondent to her
certain Edna who worked at Yazaki; Angie, who was an operator of a billiard hall; Tess, (Alfaro) as the formers sweetheart. Alfaro said she was not impressed with private
a Japayuki; Myrna Macatangay, a secretary at the Road Master Drivers School in respondent who was her student in accounting. She observed private respondent to
Bayan, Dasmarias, Cavite, with whom he cohabited for quite a while; and, Ruth Oliva, be fun-loving, spending most of his time with campus friends. In November 1980,
by whom he had a daughter named Margie P. Oliva, born on September 15, 1989 (Exh. when petitioner asked Alfaro to be one of the secondary sponsors at her forthcoming
E).[10] When petitioner confronted private respondent about his relationship with wedding, Alfaro wanted to dissuade petitioner from going through with the wedding
Tess, he beat her up, as a result of which she was confined at the De la Salle University because she thought private respondent was not ready for married life as he was then
Medical Center in Dasmarias, Cavite on July 4-5, 1990 because of cerebral concussion unemployed. True enough, although the couple appeared happy during the early part
(Exh. F).[11] of their marriage, it was not long thereafter that private respondent started drinking
with his friends and going home late at night. Alfaro corroborated petitioners claim
According to petitioner, private respondent engaged in extreme promiscuous
that private respondent was a habitual drunkard who carried on relationships with
conduct during the latter part of 1986. As a result, private respondent contracted different women and continued hanging out with his friends. She also confirmed that
gonorrhea and infected petitioner. They both received treatment at the Zapote
petitioner was once hospitalized because she was beaten up by private
Medical Specialists Center in Zapote, Bacoor, Cavite from October 22, 1986 until
respondent. After the first year of petitioners marriage, Alfaro tried to talk to private
March 13, 1987 (Exhs. G & H).[12]
respondent, but the latter accused her of meddling with their marital life. Alfaro said
Petitioner averred that on one occasion of a heated argument, private that private respondent was not close to his children and that he had abandoned
respondent hit their eldest child who was then barely a year old. Private respondent petitioner.[18]
is not close to any of their children as he was never affectionate and hardly spent time
On April 10, 1993, the trial court rendered a decision [19] dismissing the petition
with them.
for annulment of marriage filed by petitioner. The pertinent portion of the decision
On July 17, 1979, petitioner entered into a contract to sell (Exh. J) [13] with F & C reads:[20]
Realty Corporation whereby she agreed to buy from the latter a parcel of land at the
Don Gregorio Heights Subdivision I in Bo. Bucal, Dasmarias, Cavite and placed a partial The Court can underscore the fact that the circumstances mentioned by the
payment of P31,330.00. On May 26, 1987, after full payment of the amount petitioner in support of her claim that respondent was psychologically incapacitated
of P51,067.10, inclusive of interests from monthly installments, a deed of absolute to marry her are among the grounds cited by the law as valid reasons for the grant of
sale (Exh. K)[14] was executed in her favor and TCT No. T-221529 (Exh. M)[15] was duly legal separation (Article 55 of the Family Code) - not as grounds for a declaration of
issued. nullity of marriages or annulment thereof. Thus, Article 55 of the same code reads as
follows:
According to petitioner, on August 1, 1992, she sent a handwritten letter [16] to
private respondent expressing her frustration over the fact that her efforts to save
Art. 55. A petition for legal separation may be filed on any of the following grounds:
their marriage proved futile. In her letter, petitioner also stated that she was allowing
(1) Repeated physical violence or grossly abusive conduct directed against the
him to sell their owner-type jeepney[17] and to divide the proceeds of the sale between
petitioner, a common child, or a child of the petitioner;
the two of them. Petitioner also told private respondent of her intention to file a
....
petition for the annulment of their marriage.
(5) Drug addiction or habitual alcoholism of the respondent;
It does not appear that private respondent ever replied to petitioners letter. By ....
this time, he had already abandoned petitioner and their children. In October 1992, (8) Sexual infidelity or perversion;
petitioner learned that private respondent left for the Middle East. Since then, private ....
respondents whereabouts had been unknown. (10) Abandonment of petitioner by respondent without justifiable cause for more
than one year.
The acts and attitudes complained of by petitioner-appellant happened after the
If indeed Article 36 of the Family Code of the Philippines, which mentions marriage and there is no proof that the same have already existed at the time of the
psychological incapacity as a ground for the declaration of the nullity of a marriage, celebration of the marriage to constitute the psychological incapacity under Article 36
has intended to include the above-stated circumstances as constitutive of such of the Family Code.
incapacity, then the same would not have been enumerated as grounds for legal
separation. Hence, this petition. Petitioner contends that the respondent Court of Appeals
erred
In the same manner, this Court is not disposed to grant relief in favor of the petitioner
I. IN FINDING THAT THE PSYCHOLOGICAL INCAPACITY OF THE PRIVATE
under Article 46, paragraph (3) of the Family Code of the Philippines, as there is no
dispute that the gonorrhea transmitted to the petitioner by respondent occurred RESPONDENT TO COMPLY WITH HIS ESSENTIAL MARITAL OBLIGATIONS
DID NOT EXIST FROM THE TIME OF THE CELEBRATION OF THE
sometime in 1986, or five (5) years after petitioners marriage with respondent was
MARRIAGE.
celebrated in 1981. The provisions of Article 46, paragraph (3) of the same law should
be taken in conjunction with Article 45, paragraph (3) of the same code, and a careful II. IN RULING THAT PRIVATE RESPONDENT WAS NOT PSYCHOLOGICALLY
reading of the two (2) provisions of the law would require the existence of this ground INCAPACITATED TO COMPLY WITH HIS ESSENTIAL MARITAL
(fraud) at the time of the celebration of the marriage. Hence, the annulment of OBLIGATIONS.
petitioners marriage with the respondent on this ground, as alleged and proved in the
instant case, cannot be legally accepted by the Court. III. IN AFFIRMING THE DECISION OF THE TRIAL COURT DENYING THE
AWARD OF PERMANENT CUSTODY OF THE CHILDREN TO PETITIONER.
Petitioner appealed to the Court of Appeals which, on January 30, 1996, IV. IN AFFIRMING THE DECISION OF THE TRIAL COURT DENYING THE
rendered its decision affirming the decision of the trial court. Citing the ruling PRAYER FOR ISSUANCE OF AN ORDER REQUIRING PRIVATE
in Santos v. Court of Appeals,[21] the Court of Appeals held:[22] RESPONDENT TO GIVE SUPPORT TO THE THREE CHILDREN IN THE
AMOUNT OF P3,000.00 PER CHILD.
It is clear in the above law and jurisprudence that the psychological incapacity of a
spouse, as a ground for declaration of nullity of marriage, must exist at the time of the V. IN NOT DECLARING THE REAL PROPERTY ACQUIRED BY PETITIONER AS
celebration of marriage. More so, chronic sexual infidelity, abandonment, gambling HER EXCLUSIVE PROPERTY.
and use of prohibited drugs are not grounds per se, of psychological incapacity of a The issue in this case is whether or not the marriage of petitioner and private
spouse. respondent should be annulled on the ground of private respondents psychological
incapacity.
We agree with the Solicitor General that petitioner-appellant failed to prove that her
respondent-husband was psychologically incapacitated at the time of the celebration Petitioner alleges that the Court of Appeals erred in holding that petitioner failed
of the marriage. Certainly, petitioner-appellants declaration that at the time of their to show that private respondents psychological incapacity existed at the time of the
marriage her respondent-husbands character was on the borderline between a celebration of the marriage. She argues that the fact that the acts of incapacity of
responsible person and the happy-go-lucky, could not constitute the psychological private respondent became manifest only after the celebration of their marriage
incapacity in contemplation of Article 36 of the Family Code. In fact, petitioner- should not be a bar to the annulment of their marriage.
appellant herself ascribed said attitude to her respondent-husbands youth and very Art. 36 of the Family Code states:
good looks, who was admittedly several years younger than petitioner-appellant who,
herself, happened to be the college professor of her respondent-husband. Petitioner-
A marriage contracted by any party who, at the time of the celebration, was
appellant even described her respondent-husband not as a problem student but a
psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations of
normal one (p. 24, tsn, Dec. 8, 1992).
marriage, shall likewise be void even if such incapacity becomes manifest only after its
solemnization.[23]
In Santos v. Court of Appeals,[24] we held: of a psychological nature, and not merely physical. Petitioner says that at the outset
of their marriage, private respondent showed lack of drive to work for his
Psychological incapacity should refer to no less than a mental (not physical) incapacity family. Private respondents parents and petitioner supported him through
that causes a party to be truly incognitive of the basic marital covenants that college. After his schooling, although he eventually found a job, he availed himself of
concomitantly must be assumed and discharged by the parties to the marriage which, the early retirement plan offered by his employer and spent the entire amount he
as so expressed by Article 68 of the Family Code, include their mutual obligations to received on himself. For a greater part of their marital life, private respondent was out
live together, observe love, respect and fidelity and render help and support. There is of job and did not have the initiative to look for another. He indulged in vices and
hardly any doubt that the intendment of the law has been to confine the meaning of engaged in philandering, and later abandoned his family. Petitioner concludes that
psychological incapacity to the most serious cases of personality disorders clearly private respondents condition is incurable, causing the disintegration of their union
demonstrative of an utter insensitivity or inability to give meaning and significance to and defeating the very objectives of marriage.
the marriage. This psychological condition must exist at the time the marriage is
However, private respondents alleged habitual alcoholism, sexual infidelity or
celebrated. The law does not evidently envision, upon the other hand, an inability of
perversion, and abandonment do not by themselves constitute grounds for finding
the spouse to have sexual relations with the other. This conclusion is implicit under
that he is suffering from a psychological incapacity within the contemplation of the
Article 54 of the Family Code which considers children conceived prior to the judicial
Family Code. It must be shown that these acts are manifestations of a disordered
declaration of nullity of the void marriage to be legitimate.
personality which make private respondent completely unable to discharge the
essential obligations of the marital state, and not merely due to private respondents
The other forms of psychoses, if existing at the inception of marriage, like the state of youth and self-conscious feeling of being handsome, as the appellate court held. As
a party being of unsound mind or concealment of drug addiction, habitual alcoholism, pointed out in Republic of the Philippines v. Court of Appeals:[25]
homosexuality or lesbianism, merely renders the marriage contract voidable pursuant
to Article 46, Family Code. If drug addiction, habitual alcoholism, lesbianism or
The root cause of the psychological incapacity must be: (a) medically or clinically
homosexuality should occur only during the marriage, they become mere grounds for
identified, (b) alleged in the complaint, (c) sufficiently proven by experts and (d) clearly
legal separation under Article 55 of the Family Code. These provisions of the Code,
explained in the decision. Article 36 of the Family Code requires that the incapacity
however, do not necessarily preclude the possibility of these various circumstances
must be psychological not physical, although its manifestations and/or symptoms may
being themselves, depending on the degree and severity of the disorder, indicia of
be physical. The evidence must convince the court that the parties, or one of them,
psychological incapacity.
was mentally or physically ill to such an extent that the person could not have known
the obligations he was assuming, or knowing them, could not have given valid
Until further statutory and jurisprudential parameters are established, every assumption thereof. Although no example of such incapacity need be given here so as
circumstance that may have some bearing on the degree, extent, and other conditions not to limit the application of the provision under the principle of ejusdem
of that incapacity must, in every case, be carefully examined and evaluated so that no generis (citing Salita v. Magtolis, supra) nevertheless such root cause must be
precipitate and indiscriminate nullity is peremptorily decreed. The well-considered identified as a psychological illness and its incapacitating nature fully explained. Expert
opinions of psychiatrists, psychologists, and persons with expertise in psychological evidence may be given by qualified psychiatrists and clinical psychologists.
disciplines might be helpful or even desirable.
Moreover, expert testimony should have been presented to establish the precise
In the instant case, other than her self-serving declarations, petitioner failed to cause of private respondents psychological incapacity, if any, in order to show that it
establish the fact that at the time they were married, private respondent was suffering existed at the inception of the marriage. The burden of proof to show the nullity of
from a psychological defect which in fact deprived him of the ability to assume the the marriage rests upon petitioner. The Court is mindful of the policy of the 1987
essential duties of marriage and its concomitant responsibilities. As the Court of Constitution to protect and strengthen the family as the basic autonomous social
Appeals pointed out, no evidence was presented to show that private respondent was institution and marriage as the foundation of the family.[26] Thus, any doubt should be
not cognizant of the basic marital obligations. It was not sufficiently proved that resolved in favor of the validity of the marriage.[27]
private respondent was really incapable of fulfilling his duties due to some incapacity
We, therefore, find no reason to reverse the ruling of respondent Court of Republic of the Philippines
Appeals whose conclusions, affirming the trial courts finding with regard to the non- SUPREME COURT
existence of private respondents psychological incapacity at the time of the marriage, Manila
are entitled to great weight and even finality.[28]Only where it is shown that such
findings are whimsical, capricious, and arbitrary can these be overturned. EN BANC
The conclusion we have reached makes it unnecessary for us to pass upon
petitioners contentions on the issue of permanent custody of children, the amount G.R. No. 108763 February 13, 1997
for their respective support, and the declaration of exclusive ownership of petitioner
over the real property. These matters may more appropriately be litigated in a REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES,
separate proceeding for legal separation, dissolution of property regime, and/or vs.
custody of children which petitioner may bring. COURT OF APPEALS and RORIDEL OLAVIANO MOLINA, respondents.

WHEREFORE, the decision of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED. PANGANIBAN, J.:


SO ORDERED.
The Family Code of the Philippines provides an entirely new ground (in addition to those
enumerated in the Civil Code) to assail the validity of a marriage, namely, "psychological
incapacity." Since the Code's effectivity, our courts have been swamped with various
petitions to declare marriages void based on this ground. Although this Court had
interpreted the meaning of psychological incapacity in the recent case of Santos
vs. Court of Appeals, still many judges and lawyers find difficulty in applying said novel
provision in specific cases. In the present case and in the context of 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 Court in addition to resolving the present
case, finds the need to lay down specific guidelines in the interpretation and application
of Article 36 of the Family Code.

Before us is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 challenging the January 25,
1993 Decision1 of the Court of Appeals2 in CA-G.R. CV No. 34858 affirming in toto the
May 14, 1991 decision of the Regional Trial Court of La Trinidad,3 Benguet, which
declared the marriage of respondent Roridel Olaviano Molina to Reynaldo Molina
void ab initio, on the ground of "psychological incapacity" under Article 36 of the
Family Code.

The Facts

This case was commenced on August 16, 1990 with the filing by respondent Roridel
O. Molina of a verified petition for declaration of nullity of her marriage to Reynaldo
Molina. Essentially, the petition alleged that Roridel and Reynaldo were married on
April 14, 1985 at the San Agustin Church4 in Manila; that a son, Andre O. Molina was
born; that after a year of marriage, Reynaldo showed signs of "immaturity and Evidence for herein respondent wife consisted of her own testimony and that of her
irresponsibility" as a husband and a father since he preferred to spend more time with friends Rosemarie Ventura and Maria Leonora Padilla as well as of Ruth G. Lalas, a
his peers and friends on whom he squandered his money; that he depended on his social worker, and of Dr. Teresita Hidalgo-Sison, a psychiatrist of the Baguio General
parents for aid and assistance, and was never honest with his wife in regard to their Hospital and Medical Center. She also submitted documents marked as Exhibits "A" to
finances, resulting in frequent quarrels between them; that sometime in February "E-1." Reynaldo did not present any evidence as he appeared only during the pre-trial
1986, Reynaldo was relieved of his job in Manila, and since then Roridel had been the conference.
sole breadwinner of the family; that in October 1986 the couple had a very intense
quarrel, as a result of which their relationship was estranged; that in March 1987, On May 14, 1991, the trial court rendered judgment declaring the marriage void. The
Roridel resigned from her job in Manila and went to live with her parents in Baguio appeal of petitioner was denied by the Court of Appeals which affirmed in toto the
City; that a few weeks later, Reynaldo left Roridel and their child, and had since then RTC's decision. Hence, the present recourse.
abandoned them; that Reynaldo had thus shown that he was psychologically incapable
of complying with essential marital obligations and was a highly immature and The Issue
habitually quarrel some individual who thought of himself as a king to be served; and
that it would be to the couple's best interest to have their marriage declared null and
In his petition, the Solicitor General insists that "the Court of Appeals made an
void in order to free them from what appeared to be an incompatible marriage from
erroneous and incorrect interpretation of the phrase 'psychological incapacity' (as
the start.
provided under Art. 36 of the Family Code) and made an incorrect application thereof
to the facts of the case," adding that the appealed Decision tended "to establish in
In his Answer filed on August 28, 1989, Reynaldo admitted that he and Roridel could effect the most liberal divorce procedure in the world which is anathema to our
no longer live together as husband and wife, but contended that their culture."
misunderstandings and frequent quarrels were due to (1) Roridel's strange behavior
of insisting on maintaining her group of friends even after their marriage; (2) Roridel's
In denying the Solicitor General's appeal, the respondent Court relied5 heavily on the
refusal to perform some of her marital duties such as cooking meals; and (3) Roridel's
trial court's findings "that the marriage between the parties broke up because of their
failure to run the household and handle their finances.
opposing and conflicting personalities." Then, it added it sown opinion that "the Civil
Code Revision Committee (hereinafter referred to as Committee) intended to
During the pre-trial on October 17, 1990, the following were stipulated: liberalize the application of our civil laws on personal and family rights. . . ." It
concluded that:
1. That the parties herein were legally married on April 14, 1985 at
the Church of St. Augustine, Manila; As ground for annulment of marriage, We view psychologically
incapacity as a broad range of mental and behavioral conduct on the
2. That out of their marriage, a child named Albert Andre Olaviano part of one spouse indicative of how he or she regards the marital
Molina was born on July 29, 1986; union, his or her personal relationship with the other spouse, as well
as his or her conduct in the long haul for the attainment of the
3. That the parties are separated-in-fact for more than three years; principal objectives of marriage. If said conduct, observed and
considered as a whole, tends to cause the union to self-destruct
4. That petitioner is not asking support for her and her child; because it defeats the very objectives of marriage, then there is
enough reason to leave the spouses to their individual fates.
5. That the respondent is not asking for damages;
In the case at bar, We find that the trial judge committed no
6. That the common child of the parties is in the custody of the indiscretion in analyzing and deciding the instant case, as it did,
petitioner wife.
hence, We find no cogent reason to disturb the findings and COURT
conclusions thus made.
Q It is therefore the recommendation of the
Respondent, in her Memorandum, adopts these discussions of the Court of Appeals. psychiatrist based on your findings that it is better
for the Court to annul (sic) the marriage?
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 A Yes, Your Honor.
the neglect by the parties to the marriage of their responsibilities and duties, but
a defect in their psychological nature which renders them incapable of performing Q There is no hope for the marriage?
such marital responsibilities and duties."
A There is no hope, the man is also living with
The Court's Ruling another woman.

The petition is meritorious. Q Is it also the stand of the psychiatrist that the
parties are psychologically unfit for each other
In Leouel Santos vs. Court of Appeals6 this Court, speaking thru Mr. Justice Jose C. but they are psychologically fit with other parties?
Vitug, ruled that "psychological incapacity should refer to no less than a mental (nor
physical) incapacity . . . and that (t)here is hardly any doubt that the intendment of the A Yes, Your Honor.
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 Q Neither are they psychologically unfit for their
to give meaning and significance to the marriage. This psychologic condition must exist professions?
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
A Yes, Your Honor.
Manila,7Justice Vitug wrote that "the psychological incapacity must be characterized
by (a) gravity, (b) juridical antecedence, and (c) incurability."
The Court has no more
questions.
On the other hand, in the present case, there is no clear showing to us that the
psychological defect spoken of is an incapacity. It appears to us to be more of a
In the case of Reynaldo, there is no showing that his alleged personality traits were
"difficulty," if not outright "refusal" or "neglect" in the performance of some marital
constitutive of psychological incapacity existing at the time of marriage celebration.
obligations. Mere showing of "irreconciliable differences" and "conflicting
While some effort was made to prove that there was a failure to fulfill pre-nuptial
personalities" in no wise constitutes psychological incapacity. It is not enough to prove
impressions of "thoughtfulness and gentleness" on Reynaldo's part of being
that the parties failed to meet their responsibilities and duties as married persons; it
"conservative, homely and intelligent" on the part of Roridel, such failure of
is essential that they must be shown to be incapable of doing so, due to some
expectation is nor indicative of antecedent psychological incapacity. If at all, it merely
psychological (nor physical) illness.
shows love's temporary blindness to the faults and blemishes of the beloved.
The evidence adduced by respondent merely showed that she and her husband could
During its deliberations, the Court decided to go beyond merely ruling on the facts of
nor get along with each other. There had been no showing of the gravity of the
this case vis-a-vis existing law and jurisprudence. In view of the novelty of Art. 36 of
problem; neither its juridical antecedence nor its incurability. The expert testimony of
the Family Code and the difficulty experienced by many trial courts interpreting and
Dr. Sison showed no incurable psychiatric disorder but only incompatibility, not
applying it, the Court decided to invite two amici curiae, namely, the Most Reverend
psychological incapacity. Dr. Sison testified:8
Oscar V. Cruz,9 Vicar Judicial (Presiding Judge) of the National Appellate Matrimonial (4) Such incapacity must also be shown to be medically or clinically permanent
Tribunal of the Catholic Church in the Philippines, and Justice Ricardo C. Puno, 10 a or incurable. Such incurability may be absolute or even relative only in regard to the
member of the Family Code Revision Committee. The Court takes this occasion to other spouse, not necessarily absolutely against everyone of the same sex.
thank these friends of the Court for their informative and interesting discussions Furthermore, such incapacity must be relevant to the assumption of marriage
during the oral argument on December 3, 1996, which they followed up with written obligations, not necessarily to those not related to marriage, like the exercise of a
memoranda. profession or employment in a job. Hence, a pediatrician may be effective in
diagnosing illnesses of children and prescribing medicine to cure them but may not be
From their submissions and the Court's own deliberations, the following guidelines in psychologically capacitated to procreate, bear and raise his/her own children as an
the interpretation and application of Art. 36 of the Family Code are hereby handed essential obligation of marriage.
down for the guidance of the bench and the bar:
(5) Such illness must be grave enough to bring about the disability of the party to
(1) The burden of proof to show the nullity of the marriage belongs to the plaintiff. assume the essential obligations of marriage. Thus, "mild characteriological
Any doubt should be resolved in favor of the existence and continuation of the peculiarities, mood changes, occasional emotional outbursts" cannot be accepted
marriage and against its dissolution and nullity. This is rooted in the fact that both our as root causes. The illness must be shown as downright incapacity or inability, nor a
Constitution and our laws cherish the validity of marriage and unity of the family. Thus, refusal, neglect or difficulty, much less ill will. In other words, there is a natal or
our Constitution devotes an entire Article on the Family, 11 recognizing it "as the supervening disabling factor in the person, an adverse integral element in the
foundation of the nation." It decrees marriage as legally "inviolable," thereby personality structure that effectively incapacitates the person from really accepting
protecting it from dissolution at the whim of the parties. Both the family and marriage and thereby complying with the obligations essential to marriage.
are to be "protected" by the state.
(6) The essential marital obligations must be those embraced by Articles 68 up to 71
The Family Code 12 echoes this constitutional edict on marriage and the family and of the Family Code as regards the husband and wife as well as Articles 220, 221 and
emphasizes the permanence, inviolability and solidarity 225 of the same Code in regard to parents and their children. Such non-complied
marital obligation(s) must also be stated in the petition, proven by evidence and
(2) The root cause of the psychological incapacity must be (a) medically or clinically included in the text of the decision.
identified, (b) alleged in the complaint, (c) sufficiently proven by experts and (d) clearly
explained in the decision. Article 36 of the Family Code requires that the incapacity (7) Interpretations given by the National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal of the
must be psychological not physical. although its manifestations and/or symptoms Catholic Church in the Philippines, while not controlling or decisive, should be given
may be physical. The evidence must convince the court that the parties, or one of great respect by our courts. It is clear that Article 36 was taken by the Family Code
them, was mentally or physically ill to such an extent that the person could not have Revision Committee from Canon 1095 of the New Code of Canon Law, which became
known the obligations he was assuming, or knowing them, could not have given valid effective in 1983 and which provides:
assumption thereof. Although no example of such incapacity need be given here so as
not to limit the application of the provision under the principle of ejusdem The following are incapable of contracting marriage: Those who are
generis, 13 nevertheless such root cause must be identified as a psychological illness unable to assume the essential obligations of marriage due to
and its incapacitating nature explained. Expert evidence may be given qualified causes of psychological nature. 14
psychiatrist and clinical psychologists.
Since the purpose of including such provision in our Family Code is to harmonize our
(3) The incapacity must be proven to be existing at "the time of the celebration" of the civil laws with the religious faith of our people, it stands to reason that to achieve such
marriage. The evidence must show that the illness was existing when the parties harmonization, great persuasive weight should be given to decision of such appellate
exchanged their "I do's." The manifestation of the illness need not be perceivable at tribunal. Ideally subject to our law on evidence what is decreed as canonically
such time, but the illness itself must have attached at such moment, or prior thereto. invalid should also be decreed civilly void.
This is one instance where, in view of the evident source and purpose of the Family THIRD DIVISION
Code provision, contemporaneous religious interpretation is to be given persuasive [G.R. No. 136490. October 19, 2000]
effect. Here, the State and the Church while remaining independent, separate and BRENDA B. MARCOS, petitioner,
apart from each other shall walk together in synodal cadence towards the same vs.
goal of protecting and cherishing marriage and the family as the inviolable base of the WILSON G. MARCOS, respondent.
nation.
DECISION
(8) The trial court must order the prosecuting attorney or fiscal and the Solicitor
General to appear as counsel for the state. No decision shall he handed down unless PANGANIBAN, J.:
the Solicitor General issues a certification, which will be quoted in the decision, briefly
staring therein his reasons for his agreement or opposition, as the case may be, to the Psychological incapacity, as a ground for declaring the nullity of a marriage, may
petition. The Solicitor General, along with the prosecuting attorney, shall submit to be established by the totality of evidence presented. There is no requirement,
the court such certification within fifteen (15) days from the date the case is deemed however, that the respondent should be examined by a physician or a psychologist as
submitted for resolution of the court. The Solicitor General shall discharge the a conditio sine qua non for such declaration.
equivalent function of the defensor vinculi contemplated under Canon 1095.
The Case
In the instant case and applying Leouel Santos, we have already ruled to grant the Before us is a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of
petition. Such ruling becomes even more cogent with the use of the foregoing Court, assailing the July 24, 1998 Decision[1] of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-GR CV
guidelines. No. 55588, which disposed as follows:
"WHEREFORE, the contested decision is set aside and the marriage between the
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The assailed Decision is REVERSED and SET parties is hereby declared valid."[2]
ASIDE. The marriage of Roridel Olaviano to Reynaldo Molina subsists and remains
Also challenged by petitioner is the December 3, 1998 CA Resolution denying her
valid.
Motion for Reconsideration.

SO ORDERED. Earlier, the Regional Trial Court (RTC) had ruled thus:

"WHEREFORE, the marriage between petitioner Brenda B. Marcos and respondent


Wilson G. Marcos, solemnized on September 6, 1982 in Pasig City is declared null and
void ab initio pursuant to Art. 36 of the Family Code. The conjugal properties, if any, is
dissolved [sic] in accordance with Articles 126 and 129 of the same Code in relation to
Articles 50, 51 and 52 relative to the delivery of the legitime of [the] parties'
children. In the best interest and welfare of the minor children, their custody is
granted to petitioner subject to the visitation rights of respondent.

"Upon finality of this Decision, furnish copy each to the Office of the Civil Registrar of
Pasig City where the marriage was solemnized, the National Census and Statistics
Office, Manila and the Register of Deeds of Mandaluyong City for their appropriate
action consistent with this Decision.

"SO ORDERED."
The Facts Forces of the Philippines until she was able to put up a trading and construction
company, NS Ness Trading and Construction Development Corporation.
The facts as found by the Court of Appeals are as follows:
"The 'straw that broke the camel's back' took place on October 16, 1994, when they
"It was established during the trial that the parties were married twice: (1) on had a bitter quarrel. As they were already living separately, she did not want him to
September 6, 1982 which was solemnized by Judge Eriberto H. Espiritu at the stay in their house anymore. On that day, when she saw him in their house, she was
Municipal Court of Pasig (Exh. A); and (2) on May 8, 1983 which was solemnized by so angry that she lambasted him. He then turned violent, inflicting physical harm on
Rev. Eduardo L. Eleazar, Command Chaplain, at the Presidential Security Command her and even on her mother who came to her aid. The following day, October 17,
Chapel in Malacaang Park, Manila (Exh. A-1). Out of their marriage, five (5) children 1994, she and their children left the house and sought refuge in her sister's house.
were born (Exhs. B, C, D, E and F).
"On October 19, 1994, she submitted herself [to] medical examination at the
"Appellant Wilson G. Marcos joined the Armed Forces of the Philippines in 1973. Later Mandaluyong Medical Center where her injuries were diagnosed as contusions (Exh.
on, he was transferred to the Presidential Security Command in Malacaang during the G, Records, 153).
Marcos Regime. Appellee Brenda B. Marcos, on the other hand, joined the Women's
Auxilliary Corps under the Philippine Air Force in 1978. After the Edsa Revolution, both "Sometime in August 1995, she together with her two sisters and driver, went to him
of them sought a discharge from the military service. at the Bliss unit in Mandaluyong to look for their missing child, Niko. Upon seeing
them, he got mad. After knowing the reason for their unexpected presence, he ran
"They first met sometime in 1980 when both of them were assigned at the Malacaang after them with a samurai and even [beat] her driver.
Palace, she as an escort of Imee Marcos and he as a Presidential Guard of President
Ferdinand Marcos. Through telephone conversations, they became acquainted and "At the time of the filing of this case, she and their children were renting a house in
eventually became sweethearts. Camella, Paraaque, while the appellant was residing at the Bliss unit in Mandaluyong.

"After their marriage on September 6, 1982, they resided at No. 1702 Daisy Street, "In the case study conducted by Social Worker Sonia C. Millan, the children described
Hulo Bliss, Mandaluyong, a housing unit which she acquired from the Bliss their father as cruel and physically abusive to them (Exh. UU, Records, pp. 85-100).
Development Corporation when she was still single.
"The appellee submitted herself to psychologist Natividad A. Dayan, Ph.D., for
"After the downfall of President Marcos, he left the military service in 1987 and then psychological evaluation (Exh. YY, Records, pp. 207-216), while the appellant on the
engaged in different business ventures that did not however prosper. As a wife, she other hand, did not.
always urged him to look for work so that their children would see him, instead of her,
as the head of the family and a good provider. Due to his failure to engage in any "The court a quo found the appellant to be psychologically incapacitated to perform
gainful employment, they would often quarrel and as a consequence, he would hit his marital obligations mainly because of his failure to find work to support his family
and beat her. He would even force her to have sex with him despite her weariness. He and his violent attitude towards appellee and their children, x x x."[3]
would also inflict physical harm on their children for a slight mistake and was so severe
in the way he chastised them. Thus, for several times during their cohabitation, he Ruling of the Court of Appeals
would leave their house. In 1992, they were already living separately.
Reversing the RTC, the CA held that psychological incapacity had not been
established by the totality of the evidence presented. It ratiocinated in this wise:
"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 "Essential in a petition for annulment is the allegation of the root cause of the spouse's
service, she concentrated on her business. Then, she became a supplier in the Armed psychological incapacity which should also be medically or clinically identified,
sufficiently proven by experts and clearly explained in the decision. The incapacity incapacity. Nevertheless, the totality of the evidence she presented does not show
must be proven to be existing at the time of the celebration of the marriage and shown such incapacity.
to be medically or clinically permanent or incurable. It must also be grave enough to
bring about the disability of the parties to assume the essential obligations of marriage
as set forth in Articles 68 to 71 and Articles 220 to 225 of the Family Code and such Preliminary Issue: Need for Personal Medical Examination
non-complied marital obligations must similarly be alleged in the petition, established
by evidence and explained in the decision. Petitioner contends that the testimonies and the results of various tests that
were submitted to determine respondent's psychological incapacity to perform the
"In the case before us, the appellant was not subjected to any psychological or obligations of marriage should not have been brushed aside by the Court of Appeals,
psychiatric evaluation. The psychological findings about the appellant by psychiatrist simply because respondent had not taken those tests himself. Petitioner adds that the
Natividad Dayan were based only on the interviews conducted with the CA should have realized that under the circumstances, she had no choice but to rely
appellee. Expert evidence by qualified psychiatrists and clinical psychologists is on other sources of information in order to determine the psychological capacity of
essential if only to prove that the parties were or any one of them was mentally or respondent, who had refused to submit himself to such tests.
psychically ill to be truly incognitive of the marital obligations he or she was assuming,
or as would make him or her x x x unable to assume them. In fact, he offered In Republic v. CA and Molina,[8] the guidelines governing the application and the
testimonial evidence to show that he [was] not psychologically incapacitated. The root interpretation of psychological incapacity referred to in Article 36 of the Family
cause of his supposed incapacity was not alleged in the petition, nor medically or Code[9] were laid down by this Court as follows:
clinically identified as a psychological illness or sufficiently proven by an "1) The burden of proof to show the nullity of the marriage belongs to the
expert. Similarly, there is no evidence at all that would show that the appellant was plaintiff. Any doubt should be resolved in favor of the existence and
suffering from an incapacity which [was] psychological or mental - not physical to the continuation of the marriage and against its dissolution and nullity. This
extent that he could not have known the obligations he was assuming: that the is rooted in the fact that both our Constitution and our laws cherish the
incapacity [was] grave, ha[d] preceded the marriage and [was] incurable." [4] validity of marriage and unity of the family. Thus, our Constitution
devotes an entire Article on the Family, recognizing it 'as the foundation
Hence, this Petition.[5] of the nation.' It decrees marriage as legally 'inviolable,' thereby
protecting it from dissolution at the whim of the parties. Both the family
Issues and marriage are to be 'protected' by the state.
In her Memorandum,[6] petitioner presents for this Court's consideration the
xxxxxxxxx
following issues:
"I. Whether or not the Honorable Court of Appeals could set aside the 2) The root cause of the psychological incapacity must be: (a) medically or
findings by the Regional Trial Court of psychological incapacity of a clinically identified, (b) alleged in the complaint, (c) sufficiently proven
respondent in a Petition for declaration of nullity of marriage simply by experts and (d) clearly explained in the decision. Article 36 of the
because the respondent did not subject himself to psychological Family Code requires that the incapacity must be psychological - not
evaluation. physical, although its manifestations and/or symptoms may be
II. Whether or not the totality of evidence presented and the demeanor of physical. The evidence must convince the court that the parties, or one
all the witnesses should be the basis of the determination of the merits of them, was mentally or psychically ill to such an extent that the person
of the Petition."[7] could not have known the obligations he was assuming, or knowing
them, could not have given valid assumption thereof. Although no
The Court's Ruling example of such incapacity need be given here so as not to limit the
We agree with petitioner that the personal medical or psychological examination application of the provision under the principle of ejusdem generis,
of respondent is not a requirement for a declaration of psychological nevertheless such root cause must be identified as a psychological
illness and its incapacitating nature fully explained. Expert evidence (8) The trial court must order the prosecuting attorney or fiscal and the
may be given by qualified psychiatrists and clinical psychologists. Solicitor General to appear as counsel for the state. No decision shall be
handed down unless the Solicitor General issues a certification, which
3) The incapacity must be proven to be existing at 'the time of the
will be quoted in the decision, briefly stating therein his reasons for his
celebration' of the marriage. The evidence must show that the illness
agreement or opposition, as the case may be, to the petition. The
was existing when the parties exchanged their 'I do's.' The
Solicitor General, along with the prosecuting attorney, shall submit to
manifestation of the illness need not be perceivable at such time, but the court such certification within fifteen (15) days from the date the
the illness itself must have attached at such moment, or prior thereto.
case is deemed submitted for resolution of the court. The Solicitor
4) Such incapacity must also be shown to be medically or clinically General shall discharge the equivalent function of the defensor
permanent or incurable. Such incurability may be absolute or even vinculi contemplated under Canon 1095."[10]
relative only in regard to the other spouse, not necessarily absolutely The guidelines incorporate the three basic requirements earlier mandated by the
against everyone of the same sex. Furthermore, such incapacity must
Court in Santos v. Court of Appeals:[11] "psychological incapacity must be characterized
be relevant to the assumption of marriage obligations, not necessarily
by (a) gravity (b) juridical antecedence, and (c) incurability." The foregoing guidelines
to those not related to marriage, like the exercise of a profession or do not require that a physician examine the person to be declared psychologically
employment in a job. Hence, a pediatrician may be effective in
incapacitated. In fact, the root cause may be "medically or clinically identified." What
diagnosing illnesses of children and prescribing medicine to cure them
is important is the presence of evidence that can adequately establish the
but not be psychologically capacitated to procreate, bear and raise
party's psychological condition.For indeed, if the totality of evidence presented is
his/her own children as an essential obligation of marriage. enough to sustain a finding of psychological incapacity, then actual medical
5) Such illness must be grave enough to bring about the disability of the examination of the person concerned need not be resorted to.
party to assume the essential obligations of marriage. Thus, 'mild Main Issue: Totality of Evidence Presented
characteriological peculiarities, mood changes, occasional emotional
outbursts cannot be accepted as root causes. The illness must be shown The main question, then, is whether the totality of the evidence presented in the
as downright incapacity or inability, not a refusal, neglect or difficulty, present case -- including the testimonies of petitioner, the common children,
much less ill will. In other words, there is a natal or supervening petitioner's sister and the social worker -- was enough to sustain a finding that
disabling factor in the person, an adverse integral element in the respondent was psychologically incapacitated.
personality structure that effectively incapacitates the person from
really accepting and thereby complying with the obligations essential to We rule in the negative. Although this Court is sufficiently convinced that
marriage. respondent failed to provide material support to the family and may have resorted to
physical abuse and abandonment, the totality of his acts does not lead to a conclusion
6) The essential marital obligations must be those embraced by Articles 68 of psychological incapacity on his part. There is absolutely no showing that his
up to 71 of the Family Code as regards the husband and wife as well as "defects" were already present at the inception of the marriage or that they are
Articles 220, 221 and 225 of the same Code in regard to parents and incurable.
their children. Such non-complied marital obligation(s) must also be
stated in the petition, proven by evidence and included in the text of Verily, the behavior of respondent can be attributed to the fact that he had lost
the decision. his job and was not gainfully employed for a period of more than six years. It was
during this period that he became intermittently drunk, failed to give material and
7) Interpretations given by the National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal of moral support, and even left the family home.
the Catholic Church in the Philippines, while not controlling or decisive,
should be given great respect by our courts. Thus, his alleged psychological illness was traced only to said period and not to
the inception of the marriage. Equally important, there is no evidence showing that
xxxxxxxxx his condition is incurable, especially now that he is gainfully employed as a taxi driver.
Article 36 of the Family Code, we stress, is not to be confused with a divorce law SECOND DIVISION
that cuts the marital bond at the time the causes therefor manifest themselves. It
refers to a serious psychological illness afflicting a party even before the celebration [G.R. No. 127263. April 12, 2000]
of the marriage. It is a malady so grave and so permanent as to deprive one of
awareness of the duties and responsibilities of the matrimonial bond one is about to FILIPINA Y. SY, petitioner,
assume. These marital obligations are those provided under Articles 68 to 71, 220, 221 vs.
and 225 of the Family Code. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, THE HONORABLE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, SAN
Neither is Article 36 to be equated with legal separation, in which the grounds FERNANDO, PAMPANGA, BRANCH XLI, and FERNANDO SY, respondents.
need not be rooted in psychological incapacity but on physical violence, moral
pressure, moral corruption, civil interdiction, drug addiction, habitual alcoholism, DECISION
sexual infidelity, abandonment and the like.[12] At best, the evidence presented by
petitioner refers only to grounds for legal separation, not for declaring a marriage void. QUISUMBING, J.:
Because Article 36 has been abused as a convenient divorce law, this Court laid
For review is the decision[1] dated May 21, 1996 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV
down the procedural requirements for its invocation in Molina. Petitioner, however,
No. 44144, which affirmed the decision[2] of the Regional Trial Court of San Fernando,
has not faithfully observed them.
Pampanga, denying the petition[3] for declaration of absolute nullity of marriage of the
In sum, this Court cannot declare the dissolution of the marriage for failure of spouses Filipina Sy and Fernando Sy.
petitioner to show that the alleged psychological incapacity is characterized by gravity,
juridical antecedence and incurability; and for her failure to observe the guidelines Petitioner Filipina Y. Sy and private respondent Fernando Sy contracted marriage on
outlined in Molina. November 15, 1973 at the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes in Quezon City.[4] Both were
then 22 years old. Their union was blessed with two children, Frederick and Farrah
WHEREFORE, the Petition is DENIED and assailed Decision AFFIRMED, except
Sheryll who were born on July 8, 1975 and February 14, 1978,respectively.[5]
that portion requiring personal medical examination as a conditio sine qua non to a
finding of psychological incapacity. No costs.
The spouses first established their residence in Singalong, Manila, then in Apalit,
SO ORDERED. Pampanga, and later at San Matias, Sto. Tomas, Pampanga. They operated a lumber
and hardware business in Sto. Tomas, Pampanga.[6]

On September 15, 1983, Fernando left their conjugal dwelling. Since then, the spouses
lived separately, and their two children were in the custody of their mother. However,
their son Frederick transferred to his father's residence at Masangkay, Tondo, Manila
on May 15,1988, and from then on, lived with his father.[7]

On February 11, 1987, Filipina filed a petition for legal separation, docketed as Civil
Case No. 7900 before the Regional Trial Court of San Fernando, Pampanga. Later, upon
motion of petitioner, the action was later amended to a petition for separation of
property on the grounds that her husband abandoned her without just cause; that
they have been living separately for more than one year; and that they voluntarily
entered into a Memorandum of Agreement dated September 29, 1983, containing the
rules that would govern the dissolution of their conjugal partnership.[8] Judgment was
rendered dissolving their conjugal partnership of gains and approving a regime of instead; and (3) refusal to have sex with her, performing the marital act only to satisfy
separation of properties based on the Memorandum of Agreement executed by the himself. Moreover, Filipina alleges that such psychological incapacity of her husband
spouses.[9] The trial court also granted custody of the children to Filipina.[10] existed from the time of the celebration of their marriage and became manifest
thereafter.[15]
In May 1988, Filipina filed a criminal action for attempted parricide against her
husband, docketed as Criminal Case No. 88-68006, before the Regional Trial Court of The Regional Trial Court of San Fernando, Pampanga, in its decision[16] dated
Manila. Filipina testified that in the afternoon of May 15, 1988, she went to the dental December 9, 1993, denied the petition of Filipina Sy for the declaration of absolute
clinic at Masangkay, Tondo, Manila, owned by her husband but operated by his nullity of her marriage to Fernando. It stated that the alleged acts of the respondent,
mistress, to fetch her son and bring him to San Fernando, Pampanga. While she was as cited by petitioner, do not constitute psychological incapacity which may warrant
talking to her son, the boy ignored her and continued playing with the family the declaration of absolute nullity of their marriage. Lexjuris
computer. Filipina got mad, took the computer away from her son, and started
spanking him. At that instance, Fernando pulled Filipina away from their son, and Petitioner appealed to the Court of Appeals which affirmed the decision of the trial
punched her in the different parts of her body. Filipina also claimed that her husband court. In the decision[17] of the Court of Appeals dated May 21, 1996, it ruled that the
started choking her when she fell on the floor, and released her only when he thought testimony of petitioner concerning respondent's purported psychological incapacity
she was dead. Filipina suffered from hematoma and contusions on different parts of falls short of the quantum of evidence required to nullify a marriage celebrated with
her body as a result of the blows inflicted by her husband, evidenced by a Medical all the formal and essential requisites of law. Moreover, the Court of Appeals held that
Certificate issued by a certain Dr. James Ferraren. She said it was not the first time petitioner failed to show that the alleged psychological incapacity of respondent had
Fernando maltreated her.[11] existed at the time of the celebration of their marriage in 1973. It reiterated the finding
of the trial court that the couple's marital problems surfaced only in 1983, or almost
The Regional Trial Court of Manila, however, in its decision [12] dated April 26, 1990, ten years from the date of the celebration of their marriage. And prior to their
convicted Fernando only of the lesser crime of slight physical injuries, and sentenced separation in 1983, they were living together harmoniously. Thus, the Court of Appeals
him to 20 days imprisonment. Edpmis affirmed the judgment of the lower court which it found to be in accordance with law
and the evidence on record.[18]
Petitioner later filed a new action for legal separation against private respondent,
docketed as Civil Case No. 8273,on the following grounds: (1) repeated physical Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration,[19] which the Court of Appeals denied in
violence; (2) sexual infidelity; (3) attempt by respondent against her life; and (4) its resolution dated November 21, 1996.[20]
abandonment of her by her husband without justifiable cause for more than one year.
The Regional Trial Court of San Fernando, Pampanga, in its decision[13] dated Hence, this appeal by certiorari[21] wherein petitioner now raises the following
December 4,1991, granted the petition on the grounds of repeated physical violence issues: Jurismis
and sexual infidelity, and issued a decree of legal separation. It awarded custody of
their daughter Farrah Sheryll to petitioner, and their son Frederick to respondent. 1. WHETHER OR NOT THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS
MANIFESTLY OVERLOOKED THE FACT THAT ON THE DATE OF THE
On August 4, 1992, Filipina filed a petition[14] for the declaration of absolute nullity of CELEBRATION OF THE PARTIES' MARRIAGE ON NOVEMBER 15,
her marriage to Fernando on the ground of psychological incapacity. She points out 1973, NOT DISPUTED BY RESPONDENT FERNANDO, THERE WAS NO
that the final judgment rendered by the Regional Trial Court in her favor, in her MARRIAGE LICENSE THERETO;
petitions for separation of property and legal separation, and Fernando's infliction of
physical violence on her which led to the conviction of her husband for slight physical 2. WHETHER OR NOT THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS
injuries are symptoms of psychological incapacity. She also cites as manifestations of COMMITTED MISAPPREHENSION OF FACTS BY STATING THAT THE
her husband's psychological incapacity the following: (1) habitual alcoholism; (2) GROUNDS RELIED UPON BY APPELLANT [herein petitioner] DO NOT
refusal to live with her without fault on her part, choosing to live with his mistress CONSTITUTE PSYCHOLOGICAL INCAPACITY AS WOULD JUSTIFY
NULLIFICATION OF HER MARRIAGE TO APPELLEE [herein operation of technicalities should not be subject to cavil.[25] In our view, the case at
respondent]; bar requires that we address the issue of the validity of the marriage between Fillipina
and Fernando which petitioner claims is void from the beginning for lack of a marriage
3. WHETHER OR NOT THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS license, in order to arrive at a just resolution of a deeply seated and violent conflict
COMMITTED MISAPPREHENSION OF FACTS BY STATING THAT between the parties. Note, however, that here the pertinent facts are not disputed;
APPELLANT FAILED TO SHOW THAT THE ALLEGED UNDESIRABLE and what is required now is a declaration of their effects according to existing law.
ACTUATIONS OF APPELLEE HAD EXISTED OR WERE PRESENT AT THE
TIME THEIR MARRIAGE WAS CELEBRATED IN 1973; Jjjuris Petitioner states that though she did not categorically state in her petition for
annulment of marriage before the trial court that the incongruity in the dates of the
4. WHETHER OR NOT THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS marriage license and the celebration of the marriage itself would lead to the
COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION IN AFFIRMING THE conclusion that her marriage to Fernando was void from the beginning, she points out
ERRONEOUS RULING OF THE LOWER COURT THAT THERE IS A that these critical dates were contained in the documents she submitted before the
REDEEMING ATTITUDE SHOWN TO THE COURT BY RESPONDENT court. The date of issue of the marriage license and marriage certificate, September
FERNANDO WITH RESPECT TO HIS CHILDREN AND ALSO BELIEVES 17, 1974, is contained in their marriage contract which was attached as Annex "A" in
THAT RECONCILIATION BETWEEN THE PARTIES IS NOT A REMOTE her petition for declaration of absolute nullity of marriage before the trial court, and
POSSIBILITY WHICH IS ERRONEOUS; AND thereafter marked as Exhibit "A" in the course of the trial.[26] The date of celebration
of their marriage at Our Lady of Lourdes, Sta. Teresita Parish, on November 15, 1973,
5.WHETHER OR NOT THE CASE OF SANTOS V.COURT OF APPEALS is admitted both by petitioner and private respondent, as stated in paragraph three of
(240 SCRA 20) IS APPLICABLE HERETO.[22] petitioner's petition for the declaration of absolute nullity of marriage before the trial
court, and private respondent's answer admitting it.[27] This fact was also affirmed by
petitioner, in open court, on January 22, 1993, during her direct examination,[28] as
In sum, two issues are to be resolved: justice
follows: Es m
1. Whether or not the marriage between petitioner and private respondent is void
ATTY. RAZON: In the last hearing, you said that you were married on
from the beginning for lack of a marriage license at the time of the ceremony; and
November 15,1973?
2. Whether or not private respondent is psychologically incapacitated at the time of
FILIPINA SY: Yes, Sir.
said marriage celebration to warrant a declaration of its absolute nullity.

November 15, 1973, also appears as the date of marriage of the parents in both their
Petitioner, for the first time, raises the issue of the marriage being void for lack of a
son's and daughter's birth certificates, which are also attached as Annexes " B" and
valid marriage license at the time of its celebration. It appears that, according to her,
"C" in the petition for declaration of absolute nullity of marriage before the trial court,
the date of the actual celebration of their marriage and the date of issuance of their
and thereafter marked as Exhibits "B" and "C" in the course of the trial.[29] These pieces
marriage certificate and marriage license are different and incongruous. Jksm
of evidence on record plainly and indubitably show that on the day of the marriage
ceremony, there was no marriage license. A marriage license is a formal requirement;
Although we have repeatedly ruled that litigants cannot raise an issue for the first time
its absence renders the marriage void ab initio. In addition, the marriage contract
on appeal, as this would contravene the basic rules of fair play and justice, [23] in a
shows that the marriage license, numbered 6237519, was issued in Carmona, Cavite,
number of instances, we have relaxed observance of procedural rules, noting that
yet, neither petitioner nor private respondent ever resided in Carmona.[30]
technicalities are not ends in themselves but exist to protect and promote substantive
rights of litigants. We said that certain rules ought not to be applied with severity and
Carefully reviewing the documents and the pleadings on record, we find that indeed
rigidity if by so doing, the very reason for their existence would be defeated.[24] Hence,
petitioner did not expressly state in her petition before the trial court that there was
when substantial justice plainly requires, exempting a particular case from the
incongruity between the date of the actual celebration of their marriage and the date Republic of the Philippines
of the issuance of their marriage license. From the documents she presented, the SUPREME COURT
marriage license was issued on September 17,1974, almost one year after the Manila
ceremony took place on November 15, 1973. The ineluctable conclusion is that the
marriage was indeed contracted without a marriage license. Nowhere do we find EN BANC
private respondent denying these dates on record. Article 80 of the Civil Code [31] is
clearly applicable in this case. There being no claim of an exceptional character, the G.R. No. L-15853 July 27, 1960
purported marriage between petitioner and private respondent could not be classified
among those enumerated in Articles 72-79[32] of the Civil Code. We thus conclude that
FERNANDO AQUINO, petitioner,
under Article 80 of the Civil Code, the marriage between petitioner and private
vs.
respondent is void from the beginning. Es msc
CONCHITA DELIZO, respondent.

We note that their marriage certificate and marriage license are only photocopies. So
GUTIERREZ DAVID, J.:
are the birth certificates of their son Frederick and daughter Farrah Sheryll.
Nevertheless, these documents were marked as Exhibits during the course of the trial
This is a petition for certiorari to review a decision of the Court of Appeals affirming
below, which shows that these have been examined and admitted by the trial court,
that of the Court of First Instance of Rizal which dismissed petitioner's complaint for
with no objections having been made as to their authenticity and due execution.
annulment of his marriage with respondent Conchita Delizo.
Likewise, no objection was interposed to petitioner's testimony in open court when
she affirmed that the date of the actual celebration of their marriage was on
November 15, 1973. We are of the view, therefore, that having been admitted in The dismissed complaint, which was filed on September 6, 1955, was based on the
evidence, with the adverse party failing to timely object thereto, these documents are ground of fraud, it being alleged, among other things, that defendant Conchita Delizo,
deemed sufficient proof of the facts contained therein.[33] herein respondent, at the date of her marriage to plaintiff, herein petitioner Fernando
Aquino, on December 27, 1954, concealed from the latter that fact that she was
pregnant by another man, and sometime in April, 1955, or about four months after
The remaining issue on the psychological incapacity of private respondent need no
their marriage, gave birth to a child. In her answer, defendant claimed that the child
longer detain us. It is mooted by our conclusion that the marriage of petitioner to
was conceived out of lawful wedlock between her and the plaintiff.
respondent is void ab initio for lack of a marriage license at the time their marriage
was solemnized.Esmm is
At the trial, the attorney's for both parties appeared and the court a quo ordered
Assistant Provincial Fiscal Jose Goco to represent the State in the proceedings to
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The Decision of the Regional Trial Court of San
prevent collusion. Only the plaintiff however, testified and the only documentary
Fernando, Pampanga, dated December 9,1993 as well as the Decision promulgated
evidence presented was the marriage contract between the parties. Defendant
on May 21, 1996 by the Court of Appeals and its Resolution dated November 21, 1996,
neither appeared nor presented any evidence despite the reservation made by her
in CA-G.R. No. 44144 are set aside. The marriage celebrated on November 15, 1973
counsel that he would present evidence on a later date.
between petitioner Filipina Yap and private respondent Fernando Sy is hereby
declared void ab initio for lack of marriage license at the time of celebration. No
pronouncement as to costs. On June 16, 1956, the trial court noting that no birth certificate was presented to
show that the child was born within 180 days after the marriage between the parties,
and holding that concealment of pregnancy as alleged by the plaintiff does not
SO ORDERED.
constitute such fraud sa would annul a marriage dismissed the complaint. Through
a verified "petition to reopen for reception of additional evidence", plaintiff tried to
present the certificates of birth and delivery of the child born of the defendant on April
26, 1955, which documents, according to him, he had failed to secure earlier and
produce before the trial court thru excusable negligence. The petition, however, was 6. Birth Certificate (Annex "E") of Chris Charibel Aquino, the third child of
denied. Cesar Aquino and defendant; and

On appeal to the Court of Appeals, that court held that there has been excusable 7. Pictures of defendant showing her natural plumpness as early as 1952 to
neglect in plaintiff's inability to present the proof of the child's birth, through her birth as late as November, 1954, the November, 1954 photo itself does not show
certificate, and for that reason the court a quo erred in denying the motion for defendant's pregnancy which must have been almost four months old at the
reception of additional evidence. On the theory, however, that it was not impossible time the picture was taken.
for plaintiff and defendant to have had sexual intercourse during their engagement so
that the child could be their own, and finding unbelievable plaintiff's claim that he did Acting upon the motion, the Court of Appeals ordered the defendant Conchita Delizo
not notice or even suspect that defendant was pregnant when he married her, the and Assistant Provincial Fiscal of Rizal, who was representing the Government, to
appellate court, nevertheless, affirmed the dismissal of the complaint. answer the motion for reconsideration, and deferred action on the prayer for new trial
until after the case is disposed of. As both the defendant and the fiscal failed to file an
On March 17, 1959, plaintiff filed a motion praying that the decision be reconsidered, answer, and stating that it "does not believe the veracity of the contents of the motion
or, if such reconsideration be denied, that the case be remanded to the lower court and its annexes", the Court of Appeals, on August 6, 1959, denied the motion. From
for new trial. In support of the motion, plaintiff attached as annexes thereof the that order, the plaintiff brought the case to this Court thru the present petition
following documents: for certiorari.

1. Affidavit of Cesar Aquino (Annex A) (defendant's brother-in-law and After going over the record of the case, we find that the dismissal of plaintiff's
plaintiff's brother, with whom defendant was living at the time plaintiff met, complaint cannot be sustained.
courted and married her, and with whom defendant has begotten two more
children, aside from her first born, in common-law relationship) admitting Under the new Civil Code, concealment by the wife of the fact that at the time of the
that he is the father of defendant's first born, Catherine Bess Aquino, and marriage, she was pregnant by a man other than her husband constitutes fraud and is
that he and defendant hid her pregnancy from plaintiff at the time of ground for annulment of marriage. (Art. 85, par. (4) in relation to Art. 86, par. (3). In
plaintiff's marriage to defendant; the case of Buccat vs. Buccat (72 Phil., 19) cited in the decision sought to be reviewed,
which was also an action for the annulment of marriage on the ground of fraud,
2. Affidavit of defendant, Conchita Delizo (Annex "B") admitting her plaintiff's claim that he did not even suspect the pregnancy of the defendant was held
pregnancy by Cesar Aquino, her brother-in-law and plaintiff's own brother, to be unbelievable, it having been proven that the latter was already in an advanced
at the time of her marriage to plaintiff and her having hidden this fact from stage of pregnancy (7th month) at the time of their marriage. That pronouncement,
plaintiff before and up to the time of their marriage; however, cannot apply to the case at bar. Here the defendant wife was alleged to be
only more than four months pregnant at the time of her marriage to plaintiff. At that
3. Affidavit of Albert Powell (Annex "C") stating that he knew Cesar Aquino stage, we are not prepared to say that her pregnancy was readily apparent, especially
and defendant lived together as husband and wife before December 27, since she was "naturally plump" or fat as alleged by plaintiff. According to medical
1954, the date of plaintiff's marriage to defendant; authorities, even on the 5th month of pregnancy, the enlargement of a woman's
abdomen is still below the umbilicus, that is to say, the enlargement is limited to the
4. Birth Certificate of defendant's first born, Catherine Bess Aquino showing lower part of the abdomen so that it is hardly noticeable and may, if noticed, be
her date of birth to be April 26, 1955; attributed only to fat formation on the lower part of the abdomen. It is only on the
6th month of pregnancy that the enlargement of the woman's abdomen reaches a
height above the umbilicus, making the roundness of the abdomen more general and
5. Birth Certificate (Annex "D") of Carolle Ann Aquino, the second child of
apparent. (See Lull, Clinical Obstetrics, p. 122) If, as claimed by plaintiff, defendant is
defendant with Cesar Aquino, her brother-in-law;
"naturally plump", he could hardly be expected to know, merely by looking, whether
or not she was pregnant at the time of their marriage more so because she must have Republic of the Philippines
attempted to conceal the true state of affairs. Even physicians and surgeons, with the SUPREME COURT
aid of the woman herself who shows and gives her subjective and objective symptoms, Manila
can only claim positive diagnosis of pregnancy in 33% at five months. and 50% at six
months. (XI Cyclopedia of Medicine, Surgery, etc. Pregnancy, p. 10). EN BANC

The appellate court also said that it was not impossible for plaintiff and defendant to G.R. No. L-12790 August 31, 1960
have had sexual intercourse before they got married and therefore the child could be
their own. This statement, however, is purely conjectural and finds no support or JOEL JIMENEZ, plaintiff-appellee,
justification in the record. vs.
REMEDIOS CAIZARES, defendant.
Upon the other hand, the evidence sought to be introduced at the new trial, taken Republic of the Philippines, intervenor-appellant.
together with what has already been adduced would, in our opinion, be sufficient to
sustain the fraud alleged by plaintiff. The Court of Appeals should, therefore, not have Acting Solicitor General Guillermo E. Torres and Solicitor Pacifico P. de Castro for
denied the motion praying for new trial simply because defendant failed to file her appellant.
answer thereto. Such failure of the defendant cannot be taken as evidence of Climaco, Ascarraga and Silang for appellee.
collusion, especially since a provincial fiscal has been ordered of represent the
Government precisely to prevent such collusion. As to the veracity of the contents of
PADILLA, J.:
the motion and its annexes, the same can best be determined only after hearing
evidence. In the circumstance, we think that justice would be better served if a new
In a complaint filed on 7 June 1955 in the Court of First Instance of Zamboanga the
trial were ordered.
plaintiff Joel Jimenez prays for a decree annulling his marriage to the defendant
Remedios Caizares contracted on 3 August 1950 before a judge of the municipal
Wherefore, the decision complained of is set aside and the case remanded to the
court of Zamboanga City, upon the ground that the office of her genitals or vagina was
court a quo for new trial. Without costs.
to small to allow the penetration of a male organ or penis for copulation; that the
condition of her genitals as described above existed at the time of marriage and
continues to exist; and that for that reason he left the conjugal home two nights and
one day after they had been married. On 14 June 1955 the wife was summoned and
served a copy of the complaint. She did not file an answer. On 29 September 1956,
pursuant to the provisions of article 88 of the Civil Code, the Court directed the city
attorney of Zamboanga to inquire whether there was a collusion, to intervene for the
State to see that the evidence for the plaintiff is not a frame-up, concocted or
fabricated. On 17 December 1956 the Court entered an order requiring the defendant
to submit to a physical examination by a competent lady physician to determine her
physical capacity for copulation and to submit, within ten days from receipt of the
order, a medical certificate on the result thereof. On 14 March 1957 the defendant
was granted additional five days from notice to comply with the order of 17 December
1956 with warning that her failure to undergo medical examination and submit the
required doctor's certificate would be deemed lack of interest on her part in the case
and that judgment upon the evidence presented by her husband would be rendered.
After hearing, at which the defendant was not present, on 11 April 1957 the Court abnormal condition should not be presumed. The presumption is in favor of
entered a decree annulling the marriage between the plaintiff and the defendant. On potency."2 The lone testimony of the husband that his wife is physically incapable of
26 April 1957 the city attorney filed a motion for reconsideration of the decree thus sexual intercourse is insufficient to tear asunder the ties that have bound them
entered, upon the ground, among others, that the defendant's impotency has not together as husband and wife.
been satisfactorily established as required by law; that she had not been physically
examined because she had refused to be examined; that instead of annulling the The decree appealed from is set aside and the case remanded to the lower court for
marriage the Court should have punished her for contempt of court and compelled further proceedings in accordance with this decision, without pronouncement as to
her to undergo a physical examination and submit a medical certificate; and that the costs.
decree sought to be reconsidered would open the door to married couples, who want
to end their marriage to collude or connive with each other by just alleging impotency Paras, C.J., Bengzon, Bautista Angelo, Labrador, Concepcion, Reyes, J.B.L., Barrera,
of one of them. He prayed that the complaint be dismissed or that the wife be Gutierrez David, and Dizon, JJ. concur.
subjected to a physical examination. Pending resolution of his motion, the city
attorney timely appealed from the decree. On 13 May 1957 the motion for
reconsideration was denied.

The question to determine is whether the marriage in question may be annulled on


the strength only of the lone testimony of the husband who claimed and testified that
his wife was and is impotent. The latter did not answer the complaint, was absent
during the hearing, and refused to submit to a medical examination.

Marriage in this country is an institution in which the community is deeply interested.


The state has surrounded it with safeguards to maintain its purity, continuity and
permanence. The security and stability of the state are largely dependent upon it. It is
the interest of each and every member of the community to prevent the bringing
about of a condition that would shake its foundation and ultimately lead to its
destruction. The incidents of the status are governed by law, not by will of the parties.
The law specifically enumerates the legal grounds, that must be proved to exist by
indubitable evidence, to annul a marriage. In the case at bar, the annulment of the
marriage in question was decreed upon the sole testimony of the husband who was
expected to give testimony tending or aiming at securing the annulment of his
marriage he sought and seeks. Whether the wife is really impotent cannot be deemed
to have been satisfactorily established, becase from the commencement of the
proceedings until the entry of the decree she had abstained from taking part therein.
Although her refusal to be examined or failure to appear in court show indifference
on her part, yet from such attitude the presumption arising out of the suppression of
evidence could not arise or be inferred because women of this country are by nature
coy, bashful and shy and would not submit to a physical examination unless compelled
to by competent authority. This the Court may do without doing violence to and
infringing in this case is not self-incrimination. She is not charged with any offense.
She is not being compelled to be a witness against herself.1 "Impotency being an
Republic of the Philippines and inflict injuries upon her lips, her face and different parts of her body; and
SUPREME COURT that, as the plaintiff was unable by any means to induce the defendant to
Manila desist from his repugnant desires and cease from maltreating her, she was
obliged to leave the conjugal abode and take refuge in the home of her
EN BANC parents.

G.R. No. 11263 November 2, 1916 Marriage in this jurisdiction is a contract entered into in the manner and with the
solemnities established by General Orders No. 68, in so far as its civil effects are
ELOISA GOITIA DE LA CAMARA, plaintiff-appellant, concerned requiring the consent of the parties. (Garcia vs. Montague, 12 Phil. Rep.,
vs. 480, citing article 1261 of Civil Code.) Upon the termination of the marriage ceremony,
JOSE CAMPOS RUEDA, defendant-appellee. a conjugal partnership is formed between the parties. (Sy Joc Lieng vs. Encarnacion,
16 Phil. Rep., 137.) To this extent a marriage partakes of the nature of an ordinary
contract. But it is something more than a mere contract. It is a new relation, the rights,
Eduardo Gutierrez Repide and Felix Socias for appellant.
duties, and obligations of which rest not upon the agreement of the parties but upon
Sanz, Opisso and Luzuriaga for appellee.
the general law which defines and prescribes those rights, duties, and obligations
.Marriage is an institution, in the maintenance of which in its purity the public is deeply
TRENT, J.:
interested. It is a relation for life and the parties cannot terminate it at any shorter
period by virtue of any contract they may make .The reciprocal rights arising from this
This is an action by the wife against her husband for support outside of the conjugal relation, so long as it continues, are such as the law determines from time to time, and
domicile. From a judgment sustaining the defendant's demurrer upon the ground that none other. When the legal existence of the parties is merged into one by marriage,
the facts alleged in the complaint do not state a cause of action, followed by an order the new relation is regulated and controlled by the state or government upon
dismissing the case after the plaintiff declined to amend, the latter appealed. principles of public policy for the benefit of society as well as the parties. And when
the object of a marriage is defeated by rendering its continuance intolerable to one of
It was urged in the first instance, and the court so held, that the defendant cannot be the parties and productive of no possible good to the community, relief in some way
compelled to support the plaintiff, except in his own house, unless it be by virtue of a should be obtainable. With these principles to guide us, we will inquire into the status
judicial decree granting her a divorce or separation from the defendant. of the law touching and governing the question under consideration.

The parties were legally married in the city of Manila on January 7, 1915, and Articles 42 to 107 of the Civil Code are not in force in the Philippine Islands (Benedicto
immediately thereafter established their residence at 115 Calle San Marcelino, where vs. De la Rama, 3 Phil .Rep., 34). Articles 44 to 78 of the Law of Civil Marriage of 1870,
they lived together for about a month, when the plaintiff returned to the home of her in force in the Peninsula, were extended to the Philippine Islands by royal decree on
parents. The pertinent allegations of the complaint are as follows: April 13, 1883 (Ebreo vs. Sichon, 4 Phil. Rep., 705). Articles 44, 45, and 48 of this law
read:
That the defendant, one month after he had contracted marriage with the
plaintiff, demanded of her that she perform unchaste and lascivious acts on ART. 44. The spouses are obliged to be faithful to each other and to mutually
his genital organs; that the plaintiff spurned the obscene demands of the assist each other.
defendant and refused to perform any act other than legal and valid
cohabitation; that the defendant, since that date had continually on other ART. 45. The husband must live with and protect his wife. (The second
successive dates, made similar lewd and indecorous demands on his wife, the paragraph deals with the management of the wife's property.)
plaintiff, who always spurned them, which just refusals of the plaintiff
exasperated the defendant and induce him to maltreat her by word and deed
ART. 48. The wife must obey her husband, live with him, and follow him when being considered wherein, either because this right would be opposed to the
he charges his domicile or residence. exercise of a preferential right or because of the existence of some justifiable
cause morally opposed to the removal of the party enjoying the
Notwithstanding the provisions of the foregoing paragraph, the court may maintenance, the right of selection must be understood as being thereby
for just cause relieve her from this duty when the husband removes his restricted.
residence to a foreign country.
Whereas the only question discussed in the case which gave rise to this
And articles 143 and 149 of the Civil Code are as follows: appeal was whether there was any reason to prevent the exercise of the
option granted by article 149 of the Civil Code to the person obliged to
ART. 143. The following are obliged to support each other reciprocally to the furnish subsistence, to receive and maintain in his own house the one who is
whole extent specified in the preceding article. entitled to receive it; and inasmuch as nothing has been alleged or discussed
with regard to the parental authority of Pedro Alcantara Calvo, which he ha
not exercised, and it having been set forth that the natural father simply
1. The consorts.
claims his child for the purpose of thus better attending to her maintenance,
no action having been taken by him toward providing the support until, owing
xxx xxx xxx
to such negligence, the mother was obliged to demand it; it is seen that these
circumstances, together with the fact of the marriage of Pedro Alcantara, and
ART. (149) 49. The person obliged to give support may, at his option, satisfy that it would be difficult for the mother to maintain relations with her
it, either by paying the pension that may be fixed or by receiving and daughter, all constitute an impediment of such a nature as to prevent the
maintaining in his own home the person having the right to the same. exercise of the option in the present case, without prejudice to such decision
as may be deemed proper with regard to the other questions previously cited
Article 152 of the Civil Code gives the instances when the obligation to give support in respect to which no opinion should be expressed at this time.
shall cease. The failure of the wife to live with her husband is not one of them.
The above was quoted with approval in United States and De Jesus vs. Alvir (9 Phil.
The above quoted provisions of the Law of Civil Marriage and the Civil Code fix the Rep., 576), wherein the court held that the rule laid down in article 149 of the Civil
duties and obligations of the spouses. The spouses must be faithful to, assist, and Code "is not absolute." but it is insisted that there existed a preexisting or preferential
support each other. The husband must live with and protect his wife. The wife must right in each of these cases which was opposed to the removal of the one entitled to
obey and live with her husband and follow him when he changes his domicile or support. It is true that in the first the person claiming the option was the natural father
residence, except when he removes to a foreign country. But the husband who is of the child and had married a woman other than the child's mother, and in the second
obliged to support his wife may, at his option, do so by paying her a fixed pension or the right to support had already been established by a final judgment in a criminal
by receiving and maintaining her in his own home. May the husband, on account of case. Notwithstanding these facts the two cases clearly established the proposition
his conduct toward his wife, lose this option and be compelled to pay the pension? Is that the option given by article 149 of the Civil Code may not be exercised in any and
the rule established by article 149 of the Civil Code absolute? The supreme court of all cases.
Spain in its decision of December 5, 1903, held:.
Counsel for the defendant cite, in support of their contention, the decision of the
That in accordance with the ruling of the supreme court of Spain in its supreme court of Spain, dated November 3, 1905. In this case Don Berno Comas, as a
decisions dated May 11, 1897, November 25, 1899, and July 5, 1901, the result of certain business reverses and in order no to prejudice his wife, conferred
option which article 149 grants the person, obliged to furnish subsistence, upon her powers to administer and dispose of her property. When she left him he
between paying the pension fixed or receiving and keeping in his own house gave her all the muniments of title, mortgage credits, notes, P10,000 in accounts
the party who is entitled to the same, is not so absolute as to prevent cases receivable, and the key to the safe in which he kept a large amount of jewels, thus
depriving himself of all his possessions and being reduced in consequence to want. him to dispose even of the fruits of her property in order therewith to pay
Subsequently he instituted this civil action against his wife, who was then living in the matrimonial expenses and, consequently, those of his own support
opulence, for support and the revocation of the powers heretofore granted in without need of going to his wife; wherefore the judgment appealed from,
reference to the administration and disposal of her property. In her answer the wife denying the petition of D. Ramon Benso for support, has not violated the
claimed that the plaintiff (her husband) was not legally in a situation to claim support articles of the Civil Code and the doctrine invoked in the assignments of error
and that the powers voluntarily conferred and accepted by her were bilateral and 1 and 5 of the appeal.
could not be canceled by the plaintiff. From a judgment in favor of the plaintiff the
defendant wife appealed to the Audencia Territorial wherein, after due trial, judgment From a careful reading of the case just cited and quoted from it appears quite clearly
was rendered in her favor dismissing the action upon the merits. The plaintiff appealed that the spouses separated voluntarily in accordance with an agreement previously
to the supreme court and that high tribunal, in affirming the judgment of the Audencia made. At least there are strong indications to this effect, for the court says, "should
Territorial, said: the doctrine maintained in the appeal prevail, it would allow married persons to
disregard the marriage bond and separate from each other of their own free will." If
Considering that article 143, No. 1, of the Civil Code, providing that the this be the true basis upon which the supreme court of Spain rested its decision, then
spouses are mutually obliged to provide each other with support, cannot but the doctrine therein enunciated would not be controlling in cases where one of the
be subordinate to the other provisions of said Code which regulates the spouses was compelled to leave the conjugal abode by the other or where the
family organization and the duties of spouses not legally separated, among husband voluntarily abandons such abode and the wife seeks to force him to furnish
which duties are those of their living together and mutually helping each support. That this is true appears from the decision of the same high tribunal, dated
other, as provided in article 56 of the aforementioned code; and taking this October 16, 1903. In this case the wife brought an action for support against her
for granted, the obligation of the spouse who has property to furnish support husband who had willfully and voluntarily abandoned the conjugal abode without any
to the one who has no property and is in need of it for subsistence, is to be cause whatever. The supreme court, reversing the judgment absolving the defendant
understood as limited to the case where, in accordance with law, their upon the ground that no action for divorce, etc., had been instituted, said:
separation has been decreed, either temporarily or finally and this case, with
respect to the husband, cannot occur until a judgment of divorce is rendered, In the case at bar, it has been proven that it was Don Teodoro Exposito who
since, until then, if he is culpable, he is not deprived of the management of left the conjugal abode, although he claims, without however proving his
his wife's property and of the product of the other property belonging to the contention, that the person responsible for this situation was his wife, as she
conjugal partnership; and turned him out of the house. From this state of affairs it results that it is the
wife who is party abandoned, the husband not having prosecuted any action
Considering that, should the doctrine maintained in the appeal prevail, it to keep her in his company and he therefore finds himself, as long as he
would allow married persons to disregard the marriage bond and separate consents to the situation, under the ineluctable obligation to support his wife
from each other of their own free will, thus establishing, contrary to the legal in fulfillment of the natural duty sanctioned in article 56 of the Code in
provision contained in said article 56 of the Civil Code, a legal status entirely relation with paragraph 1 of article 143. In not so holding, the trial court, on
incompatible with the nature and effects of marriage in disregard of the the mistaken ground that for the fulfillment of this duty the situation or
duties inherent therein and disturbing the unity of the family, in opposition relation of the spouses should be regulated in the manner it indicates, has
to what the law, in conformity with good morals, has established; and. made the errors of law assigned in the first three grounds alleged, because
the nature of the duty of affording mutual support is compatible and
Considering that, as the spouses D. Ramon Benso and Doa Adela Galindo enforcible in all situations, so long as the needy spouse does not create any
are not legally separated, it is their duty to live together and afford each other illicit situation of the court above described.lawphil.net
help and support; and for this reason, it cannot be held that the former has
need of support from his wife so that he may live apart from her without the If we are in error as to the doctrine enunciated by the supreme court of Spain in its
conjugal abode where it is his place to be, nor of her conferring power upon decision of November 3, 1905, and if the court did hold, as contended by counsel for
the defendant in the case under consideration, that neither spouse can be compelled the term, but rather a judgment calling for the performance of a duty made specific
to support the other outside of the conjugal abode, unless it be by virtue of a final by the mandate of the sovereign. This is done from necessity and with a view to
judgment granting the injured one a divorce or separation from the other, still such preserve the public peace and the purity of the wife; as where the husband makes so
doctrine or holding would not necessarily control in this jurisdiction for the reason that base demands upon his wife and indulges in the habit of assaulting her. The pro tanto
the substantive law is not in every particular the same here as it is in Spain. As we have separation resulting from a decree for separate support is not an impeachment of that
already stated, articles 42 to 107 of the Civil Code in force in the Peninsula are not in public policy by which marriage is regarded as so sacred and inviolable in its nature; it
force in the Philippine Islands. The law governing the duties and obligations of is merely a stronger policy overruling a weaker one; and except in so far only as such
husband and wife in this country are articles 44 to 78 of the Law of Civil Marriage of separation is tolerated as a means of preserving the public peace and morals may be
1870 .In Spain the complaining spouse has, under article 105 of the Civil Code, various considered, it does not in any respect whatever impair the marriage contract or for
causes for divorce, such as adultery on the part of the wife in every case and on the any purpose place the wife in the situation of a feme sole.
part of the husband when public scandal or disgrace of the wife results therefrom;
personal violence actually inflicted or grave insults: violence exercised by the husband The foregoing are the grounds upon which our short opinion and order for judgment,
toward the wife in order to force her to change her religion; the proposal of the heretofore filed in this case, rest.
husband to prostitute his wife; the attempts of the husband or wife to corrupt their
sons or to prostitute their daughters; the connivance in their corruption or
Support; Persons With Obligation To Support
prostitution; and the condemnation of a spouse to perpetual chains or hard labor,
Art. 195. Subject to the provisions of the succeeding articles, the following are obliged
while in this jurisdiction the only ground for a divorce is adultery. (Benedicto vs. De la
to support each other to the whole extent set forth in the preceding article:
Rama, 3 Phil .Rep., 34, 45.) This positive and absolute doctrine was announced by this
court in the case just cited after an exhaustive examination of the entire subject.
(1) The spouses;
Although the case was appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States and the
(2) Legitimate ascendants and descendants;
judgment rendered by this court was there reversed, the reversal did not affect in any
(3) Parents and their legitimate children and the legitimate and illegitimate children of
way or weaken the doctrine in reference to adultery being the only ground for a
the latter;
divorce. And since the decision was promulgated by this court in that case in
(4) Parents and their illegitimate children and the legitimate and illegitimate children
December, 1903, no change or modification of the rule has been announced. It is,
of the latter; and
therefore, the well settled and accepted doctrine in this jurisdiction.
(5) Legitimate brothers and sisters, whether of full or half-blood (291a)

But it is argued that to grant support in an independent suit is equivalent to granting Art. 196. Brothers and sisters not legitimately related, whether of the full or half-blood,
divorce or separation, as it necessitates a determination of the question whether the are likewise bound to support each other to the full extent set forth in Article 194,
wife has a good and sufficient cause for living separate from her husband; and, except only when the need for support of the brother or sister, being of age, is due to
consequently, if a court lacks power to decree a divorce, as in the instant case, power a cause imputable to the claimant's fault or negligence. (291a)
to grant a separate maintenance must also be lacking. The weakness of this argument
lies in the assumption that the power to grant support in a separate action is
dependent upon a power to grant a divorce. That the one is not dependent upon the 1. Persons obliged to support each other
other is apparent from the very nature of the marital obligations of the spouses. The
mere act of marriage creates an obligation on the part of the husband to support his a. Spouses
wife. This obligation is founded not so much on the express or implied terms of the
contract of marriage as on the natural and legal duty of the husband; an obligation, i. The mere act of marriage creates an obligation on the part of the husband to support
the enforcement of which is of such vital concern to the state itself that the laws will his wife. This obligation is founded not so much on the express or implied terms of the
not permit him to terminate it by his own wrongful acts in driving his wife to seek contract of marriage as on the natural and legal duty of the husband; an obligation,
protection in the parental home. A judgment for separate maintenance is not due and
payable either as damages or as a penalty; nor is it a debt in the strict legal sense of
the enforcement of which is of such vital concern to the state itself. [Goitia v. Campos Republic of the Philippines
Rueda, G.R. No. 11263, November 2, 1916]. SUPREME COURT
Manila
ii. A husband is obliged to support his wife outside of the conjugal home when it is his
wrongful acts that drove his wife away. This mandate is demanded by no less than the EN BANC
sovereign. [Goitia v. Campos Rueda, G.R. No. 11263, November 2, 1916].
G.R. No. L-10033 December 28, 1956
iii. The law is not so unreasonable as to require a wife to live in marital relations with
a husband whose incurable propensity towards other women makes common
BENJAMIN BUGAYONG, plaintiff-appellant,
habitation with him unbearable. Deeply rooted instincts of human nature sanction the
vs.
separation in such case, and the law is not so unreasonable as to require as
LEONILA GINEZ, defendant-appellee.
acquiescence on the part of the injured party which is beyond the capacity of nature.
In order to entitle a wife to maintain a separate home and to require separate
Florencio Dumapias for appellant.
maintenance from her husband it is not necessary that the husband should bring a
Numeriano Tanopo, Jr. for appellee.
concubine into the marital domicile. Perverse and illicit relations with women outside
of the marital establishment are enough. [Dadivas vs Villanueva, G.R. No. 29959,
December 3, 1929] FELIX, J.:

vi. Adultery is a valid defense against support pendent lite which must be satisfactorily This is a case for legal separation filed in the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan
heard. [Mangoma vs Macadaeg, G.R. No. L-5153, December 10, 1951]. wherein on motion of the defendant, the case was dismissed. The order of dismissal
was appealed to the Court of Appeals, but said Tribunal certified the case to the Court
b. Legitimate ascendants and descendants on the ground that there is absolutely no question of fact involved, the motion being
c. Parents, their children and grandchildren predicated on the assumption as true of the very facts testified to by plaintiff-husband.
d. Legitimate siblings
e. Illegitimate siblings except when being of age, the need for support is due to fault The facts of the case abridgedly stated are as follows: Benjamin Bugayong, a
or negligence. serviceman in the United States Navy, was married to defendant Leonila Ginez on
August 27, 1949, at Asingan, Pangasinan, while on furlough leave. Immediately after
2. Relationship is the basis of support their marriage, the couple lived with their sisters who later moved to Sampaloc,
Manila. After some time, or about July, 1951, Leonila Ginez left the dwelling of her
a. It is true that in order to claim support, filiation and/or paternity must first be shown sister-in-law and informed her husband by letter that she had gone to reside with her
between the claimant and the parent. However, paternity and filiation or the lack of mother in Asingan, Pangasinan, from which place she later moved to Dagupan City to
the same is a relationship that must be judicially established and it is for the court to study in a local college there.
declare its existence or absence. It cannot be left to the will or agreement of the
parties. [De Asis vs Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 127578, February 15, 1999] As early as July, 1951, Benjamin Bugayong began receiving letters from Valeriana
Polangco (plaintiff's sister-in-law) and some from anonymous writers(which were not
b. The civil status of sonship being denied and his civil status being in issue, no support produced at the hearing) informing him of alleged acts of infidelity of his wife which
may be claimed until an authoritative declaration has been made as to the existence he did not even care to mention. On cross-examination, plaintiff admitted that his wife
of the relationship. [Francisco vs Zandueta, G.R. No. L-43794, August 9, 1935] also informed him by letter, which she claims to have destroyed, that a certain "Eliong"
kissed her. All these communications prompted him in October, 1951 to seek the
advice of the Navy Chaplain as to the propriety of a legal separation between him and
his wife on account of the latter's alleged acts of infidelity, and he was directed to (b) In finding that there were condonation on the part of plaintiff-appellant;
consult instead the navy legal department. and

In August, 1952, plaintiff went to Asingan, Pangasinan, and sought for his wife whom (c) In entertaining condonation as a ground for dismissal inasmuch as same
he met in the house of one Mrs. Malalang, defendant's godmother. She came along was not raised in the answer or in a motion to dismiss.
with him and both proceeded to the house of Pedro Bugayong, a cousin of the
plaintiff-husband, where they stayed and lived for 2 nights and 1 day as husband and As the questions raised in the brief were merely questions of law, the Court of Appeals
wife. Then they repaired to the plaintiff's house and again passed the night therein as certified the case to Superiority.
husband and wife. On the second day, Benjamin Bugayong tried to verify from his wife
the truth of the information he received that she had committed adultery but Leonila, The Civil Code provides:
instead of answering his query, merely packed up and left, which he took as a
confirmation of the acts of infidelity imputed on her. After that and despite such belief,
ART. 97. A petition for legal separation may be filed:
plaintiff exerted efforts to locate her and failing to find her, he went to Bacarra, Ilocos
Norte, "to soothe his wounded feelings".
(1) For adultery on the part of the wife and for concubinage for the part of
the husband as defined on the Penal Code; or
On November 18, 1952, Benjamin Bugayong filed in the Court of First Instance of
Pangasinan a complaint for legal separation against his wife, Leonila Ginez, who timely
(2) An attempt by one spouse against the life of the other.
filed an answer vehemently denying the averments of the complaint and setting up
affirmative defenses. After the issues were joined and convinced that a reconciliation
was not possible, the court set the case for hearing on June 9, 1953. Plaintiff's counsel ART. 100. The legal separation may be claimed only by the innocent
announced that he was to present 6 witnesses but after plaintiff-husband finished spouse, provided there has been no condonation of or consent to the adultery
testifying in his favor, counsel for the defendant orally moved for the dismissal of the or concubinage. Where both spouses are offenders, a legal separation cannot
complaint, but the Court ordered him to file a written motion to that effect and gave by either of them. Collusion between the parties to obtain legal separation
plaintiff 10 days to answer the same. shall cause the dismissal of the petition.

The motion to dismiss was predicted on the following grounds: (1) ART. 102. An action for legal separation cannot be filed except within one
Assuming arguendo the truth of the allegations of the commission of "acts of rank year from and after the date on which the plaintiff became cognizant of the
infidelity amounting to adultery", the cause of action, if any, is barred by the statute cause and within five years from and after the date when such cause
of limitations; (2) That under the same assumption, the act charged have been occurred.
condoned by the plaintiff-husband; and (3) That the complaint failed to state a cause
of action sufficient for this court to render a valid judgment. As the only reason of the lower Court for dismissing the action was the alleged
condonation of the charges of adultery that the plaintiff-husband had preferred in the
The motion to dismiss was answered by plaintiff and the Court, considering only the complaint against his wife, We will disregard the other 2 grounds of the motion to
second ground of the motion to dismiss i. e., condonation, ordered the dismissal of dismiss, as anyway they have not been raised in appellant's assignment of errors.
the action. After the motion for reconsideration filed by plaintiff was denied, the case
was taken up for review to the Court of Appeals, appellant's counsel maintaining that Condonation is the forgiveness of a marital offense constituting a ground for legal
the lower court erred: separation or, as stated in I Bouver's Law Dictionary, p. 585, condonation is the
"conditional forgiveness or remission, by a husband or wife of a matrimonial
(a) In so prematurely dismissing the case; offense which the latter has committed". It is to be noted, however, that in
defendant's answer she vehemently and vigorously denies having committed any act
of infidelity against her husband, and even if We were to give full weight to the Q. What happened next? A. I persuaded her to come along with me. She
testimony of the plaintiff, who was the only one that had the chance of testifying in consented but I did not bring her home but brought her to the house of my
Court and link such evidence with the averments of the complaint, We would have to cousin Pedro Bugayong. (p. 12, t.s.n.)
conclude that the facts appearing on the record are far from sufficient to establish the
charge of adultery, or, as the complaint states, of "acts of rank infidelity amounting to Q. How long did you remain in the house of your cousin Pedro Bugayong?
adultery" preferred against the defendant. Certainly, the letter that plaintiff claims to A. One day and one night. (p. 12. t.s.n.)
have received from his sister-in-law Valeriana Polangco, which must have been too
vague and indefinite as to defendant's infidelity to deserve its production in evidence; Q. That night when you stayed in the house of your cousin Pedro Bugayong
nor the anonymous letters which plaintiff also failed to present; nor the alleged letter as husband and wife, did you slept together? A. Yes, sir. (p. 19, t.s.n.)
that, according to plaintiff, his wife addressed to him admitting that she had been
kissed by one Eliong, whose identity was not established and
Q. On the next night, when you slept in your own house, did you sleep
which admission defendant had no opportunity to deny because the motion to dismiss
together also as husband and wife? A. Yes, sir. (p. 19. t.s.n.)
was filed soon after plaintiff finished his testimony in Court, do not amount to anything
that can be relied upon.
Q. When was that? A. That was in August, 1952. (p. 19 t.s.n.)
But this is not a question at issue. In this appeal, We have to consider plaintiff's line of
Q. How many nights did you sleep together as husband and wife? A. Only
conduct under the assumption that he really believed his wife guilty of adultery. What
two nights. (p. 19, t.s.n.)
did he do in such state of mind. In August, 1952, he went to Pangasinan and looked
for his wife and after finding her they lived together as husband and wife for 2 nights
and 1 day, after which he says that he tried to verify from her the truth of the news The New Civil Code of the Philippines, in its Art. 97, says:
he had about her infidelity, but failed to attain his purpose because his wife, instead
of answering his query on the matter, preferred to desert him, probably enraged for A petition for legal separation may be filed:
being subjected to such humiliation. And yet he tried to locate her, though in vain.
Now, do the husband's attitude of sleeping with his wife for 2 nights despite his alleged (1) For adultery on the part of the wife and concubinage on the part of the
belief that she was unfaithful to him, amount to a condonation of her previous and husband as defined on the Penal Code.
supposed adulterous acts? In the order appealed from, the Court a quo had the
following to say on this point: and in its Art. 100 it says:lawphil.net

In the hearing of the case, the plaintiff further testified as follows: The legal separation may be claimed only by the innocent spouse, provided
there has been no condonation of or consent to the adultery or concubinage.
Q. Now Mr. Bugayong, you have filed this action for legal separation from Where both spouses are offenders, legal separation cannot be claimed by
your wife. Please tell this Hon. Court why you want to separate from your either of them. Collusion between the parties to obtain legal separation shall
wife? A. I came to know that my wife is committing adultery, I consulted cause the dismissal of the petition.
the chaplain and he told me to consult the legal adviser. (p. 11, t.s.n.)
A detailed examination of the testimony of the plaintiff-husband, especially
Q. Did you finally locate her?--A. Four days later or on the fifth day since my those portions quoted above, clearly shows that there was a condonation on
arrival she went to the house of our god-mother, and as a husband I went to the part of the husband for the supposed "acts of rank infidelity amounting
her to come along with me in our house but she refused. (p. 12, to adultery" committed by defendant-wife. Admitting for the sake of
t.s.n.)lawphil.net argument that the infidelities amounting to adultery were committed by the
defendant, a reconciliation was effected between her and the plaintiff. The
act of the latter in persuading her to come along with him, and the fact that any action for legal separation against the offending wife, because his said conduct
she went with him and consented to be brought to the house of his cousin comes within the restriction of Article 100 of the Civil Code.
Pedro Bugayong and together they slept there as husband and wife for one
day and one night, and the further fact that in the second night they again The only general rule in American jurisprudence is that any cohabitation with the guilty
slept together in their house likewise as husband and wife all these facts party, after the commission of the offense, and with the knowledge or belief on the
have no other meaning in the opinion of this court than that a reconciliation part of the injured party of its commission, will amount to conclusive evidence of
between them was effected and that there was a condonation of the wife by condonation; but this presumption may be rebutted by evidence (60 L. J. Prob. 73).
the husband. The reconciliation occurred almost ten months after he came
to know of the acts of infidelity amounting to adultery. If there had been cohabitation, to what extent must it be to constitute condonation?

In Shackleton vs. Shackleton, 48 N. J. Eq. 364; 21 Atl. 935, it has been held Single voluntary act of marital intercourse between the parties ordinarily is
that "condonation is implied from sexual intercourse after knowledge of the sufficient to constitute condonation, and where the parties live in the same
other infidelity. such acts necessary implied forgiveness. It is entirely house, it is presumed that they live on terms of matrimonial cohabitation (27
consonant with reason and justice that if the wife freely consents to sexual C. J. S., section 6-d).
intercourse after she has full knowledge of the husband's guilt, her consent
should operate as a pardon of his wrong."
A divorce suit will not be granted for adultery where the parties continue to
live together after it was known (Land vs. Martin, 15 South 657; Day vs. Day,
In Tiffany's Domestic and Family Relations, section 107 says: 80 Pac. 974) or there is sexual intercourse after knowledge of adultery
(Rogers vs. Rogers, 67 N. J. Eq. 534) or sleeping together for a single
Condonation. Is the forgiveness of a marital offense constituting a night (Toulson vs. Toulson, 50 Atl. 401, citing Phinizy vs. Phinizy, 114 S. E.
ground for divorce and bars the right to a divorce. But it is on the 185, 154 Ga. 199; Collins vs. Collins, 193 So. 702), and many others. The
condition, implied by the law when not express, that the wrongdoer resumption of marital cohabitation as a basis of condonation will generally
shall not again commit the offense; and also that he shall thereafter be inferred, nothing appearing to the contrary, from the fact of the living
treat the other spouse with conjugal kindness. A breach of the together as husband and wife, especially as against the husband
condition will revive the original offense as a ground for divorce. (Marsh vs. Marsh, 14 N. J. Eq. 315).
Condonation may be express or implied.
There is no ruling on this matter in our jurisprudence but we have no reason to depart
It has been held in a long line of decisions of the various supreme courts of from the doctrines laid down in the decisions of the various supreme courts of the
the different states of the U. S. that 'a single voluntary act of sexual United States above quoted.
intercourse by the innocent spouse after discovery of the offense is ordinarily
sufficient to constitute condonation, especially as against the husband'. (27 There is no merit in the contention of appellant that the lower court erred in
Corpus Juris Secundum, section 61 and cases cited therein). entertaining condonation as a ground for dismissal inasmuch as same was not raised
in the answer or in a motion to dismiss, because in the second ground of the motion
In the lights of the facts testified to by the plaintiff-husband, of the legal to dismiss. It is true that it was filed after the answer and after the hearing had been
provisions above quoted, and of the various decisions above-cited, the commenced, yet that motion serves to supplement the averments of defendant's
inevitable conclusion is that the present action is untenable. answer and to adjust the issues to the testimony of plaintiff himself (section 4, Rule
17 of the Rules of Court).
Although no acts of infidelity might have been committed by the wife, We agree with
the trial judge that the conduct of the plaintiff-husband above narrated despite his Wherefore, and on the strength of the foregoing, the order appealed from is hereby
belief that his wife was unfaithful, deprives him, as alleged the offended spouse, of affirmed, with costs against appellant. It is so ordered.
Paras, C.J., Bengzon, Padilla, Bautista Angelo, Labrador, Concepcion, Reyes, J.B.L. and The Supreme Court has held that the failure of the husband to look actively for his
Endencia, JJ., concur. adulterous wife after she left the conjugal home does not constitute condonation or
consent to his wifes adultery. It was not his duty to search for her [De Ocampo v.
Legal Separation; Grounds For Denial Of Legal Separation (Defenses) (Article 56, Florenciano, G.R. L-13553, February 23, 1960].
Family Code)
2. Consent
Art. 56. The petition for legal separation shall be denied on any of the following grounds:
The aggrieved party has consented to the commission of the offense or act
(1) Where the aggrieved party has condoned the offense or act complained of;
complained of [Art. 56, Family Code].
(2) Where the aggrieved party has consented to the commission of the offense or act
complained of;
An agreement between the spouses that they agree to live separately from each other
(3) Where there is connivance between the parties in the commission of the offense or
and that they are free to commit adultery, concubinage, or sexual infidelity is void and
act constituting the ground for legal separation;
cannot be a ground for legal separation. Condonation and consent are necessarily the
(4) Where both parties have given ground for legal separation;
import of the agreement [Matubis v. Praxedes, G.R. No. L-11766, October 25, 1960].
(5) Where there is collusion between the parties to obtain decree of legal separation; or
(6) Where the action is barred by prescription. (100a)
The document executed by and between the parties in which they agreed to live
separately and that they will not object to the commission of sexual infidelity, adultery,
1. Condonation
or concubinage while illegal for the purpose for which it was executed, constitutes
nevertheless a valid consent to the act of concubinage [People v. Schneckenberger, G.R.
The aggrieved party has condoned the offense or act complained of [Art. 56, Family
No. 48183, November 10, 1941].
Code].
3. Connivance
The only general rule in American jurisprudence is that any cohabitation with the guilty
party, after the commission of the offense, and with the knowledge or belief on the
There is connivance between the parties in the commission of the offense or act
part of the injured party of its commission, will amount to conclusive evidence of
constituting the ground for legal separation [Art. 56, Family Code].
condonation; but this presumption may be rebutted by evidence [Bugayong v. Ginez,
G.R. No. L-10033, December 28, 1956].
4. Mutual Guilt or Recrimination
If there had been cohabitation, to what extent must it be to constitute condonation?
Both parties have given ground for legal separation [Art. 56, Family Code].
Single voluntary act of marital intercourse between the parties ordinarily is sufficient
A legal separation case filed by a husbandwho cohabits with another woman
to constitute condonation, and where the parties live in the same house, it is
against his wife committing adultery will not prosper. [Brown v. Yambao, G.R. No. L-
presumed that they live on terms of matrimonial cohabitation.
10699, October 18, 1957].
A divorce suit will not be granted for adultery where the parties continue to live
5. Collusion
together after it was known or there is sexual intercourse after knowledge of or
sleeping together for a single night, and many others. The presumption of marital
Collusion in divorce or legal separation means the agreement between husband and
cohabitation as a basis of condonation will generally be inferred, nothing appearing to
wife for one of them to commit, or to appear to commit, or to be represented in court
the contrary, from the fact of the living together as husband and wife, especially as
as having committed, a matrimonial offense, or to suppress evidence of a valid
against the husband [Bugayong v. Ginez, G.R. No. L-10033, December 28, 1956].
defense, for the purpose of enabling the other to obtain a divorce or legal separation.
This agreement, if not express, may be implied from the acts of the parties. It is a
ground for denying the divorce or legal separation [De Ocampo v. Florenciano, G.R. L- EN BANC
13553, February 23, 1960].
G.R. No. L-30977 January 31, 1972
There would be collusion if the parties had arranged to make it appear that a
matrimonial offense had been committed although it was not, or if the parties had CARMEN LAPUZ SY, represented by her substitute MACARIO LAPUZ, petitioner-
connived to bring about a legal separation even in the absence of grounds provided appellant,
by the law [De Ocampo v. Florenciano, G.R. L-13553, February 23, 1960]. vs.
EUFEMIO S. EUFEMIO alias EUFEMIO SY UY, respondent-appellee.
Collusion may not be inferred from the mere fact that the guilty party confesses to the
offense and thus enables the other party to procure evidence necessary to prove it.
Jose W. Diokno for petitioner-appellant.
And proof that the defendant desires the divorce and makes no defense, is not by
itself collusion [De Ocampo v. Florenciano, G.R. L-13553, February 23, 1960].
D. G. Eufemio for respondent-appellee.
6. Prescription
REYES J.B.L., J.:p
The action for legal separation must be filed within five (5) years from the occurrence
of the cause. Petition, filed after the effectivity of Republic Act 5440, for review by certiorari of an
order, dated 29 July 1969, of the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court of Manila, in
its Civil Case No. 20387, dismissing said case for legal separation on the ground that
the death of the therein plaintiff, Carmen O. Lapuz Sy, which occurred during the
pendency of the case, abated the cause of action as well as the action itself. The
dismissal order was issued over the objection of Macario Lapuz, the heir of the
deceased plaintiff (and petitioner herein) who sought to substitute the deceased and
to have the case prosecuted to final judgment.

On 18 August 1953, Carmen O. Lapuz Sy filed a petition for legal separation against
Eufemio S. Eufemio, alleging, in the main, that they were married civilly on 21
September 1934 and canonically on 30 September 1934; that they had lived together
as husband and wife continuously until 1943 when her husband abandoned her; that
they had no child; that they acquired properties during their marriage; and that she
discovered her husband cohabiting with a Chinese woman named Go Hiok at 1319
Sisa Street, Manila, on or about March 1949. She prayed for the issuance of a decree
of legal separation, which, among others, would order that the defendant Eufemio S.
Eufemio should be deprived of his share of the conjugal partnership profits.

In his second amended answer to the petition, herein respondent Eufemio S. Eufemio
alleged affirmative and special defenses, and, along with several other claims involving
Republic of the Philippines money and other properties, counter-claimed for the declaration of nullity ab initio of
SUPREME COURT his marriage with Carmen O. Lapuz Sy, on the ground of his prior and subsisting
Manila marriage, celebrated according to Chinese law and customs, with one Go Hiok, alias
Ngo Hiok.
Issues having been joined, trial proceeded and the parties adduced their respective The issue as framed by petitioner injects into it a supposed conversion of a legal
evidence. But before the trial could be completed (the respondent was already separation suit to one for declaration of nullity of a marriage, which is without basis,
scheduled to present surrebuttal evidence on 9 and 18 June 1969), petitioner Carmen for even petitioner asserted that "the respondent has acquiesced to the dismissal of
O. Lapuz Sy died in a vehicular accident on 31 May 1969. Counsel for petitioner duly his counterclaim" (Petitioner's Brief, page 22). Not only this. The petition for legal
notified the court of her death. separation and the counterclaim to declare the nullity of the self same marriage can
stand independent and separate adjudication. They are not inseparable nor was the
On 9 June 1969, respondent Eufemio moved to dismiss the "petition for legal action for legal separation converted into one for a declaration of nullity by the
separation"1 on two (2) grounds, namely: that the petition for legal separation was counterclaim, for legal separation pre-supposes a valid marriage, while the petition
filed beyond the one-year period provided for in Article 102 of the Civil Code; and that for nullity has a voidable marriage as a pre-condition.
the death of Carmen abated the action for legal separation.
The first real issue in this case is: Does the death of the plaintiff before final decree, in
On 26 June 1969, counsel for deceased petitioner moved to substitute the deceased an action for legal separation, abate the action? If it does, will abatement also apply if
Carmen by her father, Macario Lapuz. Counsel for Eufemio opposed the motion. the action involves property rights? .

On 29 July 1969, the court issued the order under review, dismissing the case. 2 In the An action for legal separation which involves nothing more than the bed-and-board
body of the order, the court stated that the motion to dismiss and the motion for separation of the spouses (there being no absolute divorce in this jurisdiction) is purely
substitution had to be resolved on the question of whether or not the plaintiff's cause personal. The Civil Code of the Philippines recognizes this in its Article 100, by allowing
of action has survived, which the court resolved in the negative. Petitioner's moved to only the innocent spouse (and no one else) to claim legal separation; and in its Article
reconsider but the motion was denied on 15 September 1969. 108, by providing that the spouses can, by their reconciliation, stop or abate the
proceedings and even rescind a decree of legal separation already rendered. Being
After first securing an extension of time to file a petition for review of the order of personal in character, it follows that the death of one party to the action causes the
dismissal issued by the juvenile and domestic relations court, the petitioner filed the death of the action itself actio personalis moritur cum persona.
present petition on 14 October 1969. The same was given due course and answer
thereto was filed by respondent, who prayed for the affirmance of the said order. 3 ... When one of the spouses is dead, there is no need for divorce,
because the marriage is dissolved. The heirs cannot even continue
Although the defendant below, the herein respondent Eufemio S. Eufemio, filed the suit, if the death of the spouse takes place during the course of
counterclaims, he did not pursue them after the court below dismissed the case. He the suit (Article 244, Section 3). The action is absolutely dead (Cass.,
acquiesced in the dismissal of said counterclaims by praying for the affirmance of the July 27, 1871, D. 71. 1. 81; Cass. req., May 8, 1933, D. H. 1933,
order that dismissed not only the petition for legal separation but also his 332.")4 .
counterclaim to declare the Eufemio-Lapuz marriage to be null and void ab initio.
Marriage is a personal relation or status, created under the sanction
But petitioner Carmen O. Lapuz Sy (through her self-assumed substitute for the of law, and an action for divorce is a proceeding brought for the
lower court did not act on the motion for substitution) stated the principal issue to be purpose of effecting a dissolution of that relation. The action is one
as follows: of a personal nature. In the absence of a statute to the contrary, the
death of one of the parties to such action abates the action, for the
reason that death has settled the question of separation beyond all
When an action for legal separation is converted by the
controversy and deprived the court of jurisdiction, both over the
counterclaim into one for a declaration of nullity of a marriage, does
persons of the parties to the action and of the subject-matter of the
the death of a party abate the proceedings?
action itself. For this reason the courts are almost unanimous in
holding that the death of either party to a divorce proceeding,
before final decree, abates the action. 1 Corpus Juris, 208; Wren v. community, or his disqualification to inherit by intestacy from the innocent spouse as
Moss, 2 Gilman, 72; Danforth v. Danforth, 111 Ill. 236; Matter of well as the revocation of testamentary provisions in favor of the offending spouse
Grandall, 196 N.Y. 127, 89 N.E. 578; 134 Am St. Rep. 830; 17 Ann. made by the innocent one, are all rights and disabilities that, by the very terms of the
Cas. 874; Wilcon v. Wilson, 73 Mich, 620, 41 N.W. 817; Strickland v. Civil Code article, are vested exclusively in the persons of the spouses; and by their
Strickland, 80 Ark. 452, 97 S. W. 659; McCurley v. McCurley, 60 Md. nature and intent, such claims and disabilities are difficult to conceive as assignable or
185, 45 Am. Rep. 717; Begbie v. Begbie, 128 Cal. 155, 60 Pac. 667, transmissible. Hence, a claim to said rights is not a claim that "is not thereby
49 L.R.A. 141. 5 extinguished" after a party dies, under Section 17, Rule 3, of the Rules of Court, to
warrant continuation of the action through a substitute of the deceased party.
The same rule is true of causes of action and suits for separation and maintenance
(Johnson vs. Bates, Ark. 101 SW 412; 1 Corpus Juris 208). Sec. 17. Death of party. After a party dies and the claim is not
thereby extinguished, the court shall order, upon proper notice, the
A review of the resulting changes in property relations between spouses shows that legal representative of the deceased to appear and to be
they are solely the effect of the decree of legal separation; hence, they can not survive substituted for the deceased, within a period of thirty (30) days, or
the death of the plaintiff if it occurs prior to the decree. On the point, Article 106 of within such time as may be granted...
the Civil Code provides: .
The same result flows from a consideration of the enumeration of the actions that
Art. 106. The decree of legal separation shall have the following survive for or against administrators in Section 1, Rule 87, of the Revised Rules of
effects: Court:

(1) The spouses shall be entitled to live separately from each other, SECTION 1. Actions which may and which may not be brought
but the marriage bonds shall not be severed; . against executor or administrator. No action upon a claim for the
recovery of money or debt or interest thereon shall be commenced
(2) The conjugal partnership of gains or the absolute conjugal against the executor or administrator; but actions to recover real or
community of property shall be dissolved and liquidated, but the personal property, or an interest therein, from the estate, or to
offending spouse shall have no right to any share of the profits enforce a lien thereon, and actions to recover damages for an injury
earned by the partnership or community, without prejudice to the to person or property, real or personal, may be commenced against
provisions of article 176; him.

(3) The custody of the minor children shall be awarded to the Neither actions for legal separation or for annulment of marriage can be deemed fairly
innocent spouse, unless otherwise directed by the court in the included in the enumeration..
interest of said minors, for whom said court may appoint a guardian;
A further reason why an action for legal separation is abated by the death of the
(4) The offending spouse shall be disqualified from inheriting from plaintiff, even if property rights are involved, is that these rights are mere effects of
the innocent spouse by intestate succession. Moreover, provisions decree of separation, their source being the decree itself; without the decree such
in favor of the offending spouse made in the will of the innocent one rights do not come into existence, so that before the finality of a decree, these claims
shall be revoked by operation of law. are merely rights in expectation. If death supervenes during the pendency of the
action, no decree can be forthcoming, death producing a more radical and definitive
separation; and the expected consequential rights and claims would necessarily
From this article it is apparent that the right to the dissolution of the conjugal
remain unborn.
partnership of gains (or of the absolute community of property), the loss of right by
the offending spouse to any share of the profits earned by the partnership or
As to the petition of respondent-appellee Eufemio for a declaration of nullity ab 3. Death will terminate the legal separation case. [Lapuz v. Eufemio, G.R. No. L-30977,
initio of his marriage to Carmen Lapuz, it is apparent that such action became moot January 31, 1972].
and academic upon the death of the latter, and there could be no further interest in
continuing the same after her demise, that automatically dissolved the questioned Exc: The 6-month-cooling-off-period requirement can be dispensed with if the ground
union. Any property rights acquired by either party as a result of Article 144 of the Civil for legal separation involves violence against women or the child as defined under the
Code of the Philippines 6 could be resolved and determined in a proper action for Violence Against Women and Children Law [See Section 19, R.A. No. 9262].
partition by either the appellee or by the heirs of the appellant.
Steps towards Reconciliation
In fact, even if the bigamous marriage had not been void ab initio but only voidable
under Article 83, paragraph 2, of the Civil Code, because the second marriage had Art. 59. No legal separation may be decreed unless the Court has taken steps toward
been contracted with the first wife having been an absentee for seven consecutive the reconciliation of the spouses and is fully satisfied, despite such efforts, that
years, or when she had been generally believed dead, still the action for annulment reconciliation is highly improbable. (n)
became extinguished as soon as one of the three persons involved had died, as
provided in Article 87, paragraph 2, of the Code, requiring that the action for Basis of Legal Separation Decree
annulment should be brought during the lifetime of any one of the parties involved.
And furthermore, the liquidation of any conjugal partnership that might have resulted Art. 60. No decree of legal separation shall be based upon a stipulation of facts or a
from such voidable marriage must be carried out "in the testate or intestate confession of judgment.
proceedings of the deceased spouse", as expressly provided in Section 2 of the Revised
Rule 73, and not in the annulment proceeding. 1. What the law prohibits is a judgment based exclusively or mainly on defendants
confession. Hence, any admission or confession may be admitted into evidence.
ACCORDINGLY, the appealed judgment of the Manila Court of Juvenile and Domestic [Ocampo v. Florenciano, G.R. No. L-13553, February 23, 1960]
Relations is hereby affirmed. No special pronouncement as to costs.

Legal Separation; Action For Legal Separation


Period to File 5 years from occurrence of cause

Art. 57. An action for legal separation shall be filed within five years from the time of
the occurrence of the cause.

Cooling-off Period 6 months

Art. 58. An action for legal separation shall in no case be tried before six months shall Republic of the Philippines
have elapsed since the filing of the petition. (103) SUPREME COURT
Manila
1. Cooling-off-period is mandatory [Pacete v. Carriaga, G.R. No L-53880, March 17,
1994; Araneta vs Concepcion, G.R. No. L-9667, July 31, 1956]. EN BANC
2. Cooling-off pertains to the merits of the ground for legal separation; other G.R. No. L-39587 March 24, 1934
incidental or indirect matters such as support and custody may be heard within the ALEKO E. LILIUS, ET AL., plaintiffs-appellants,
cooling-off period. [Somosa-Ramos v. Vamenta, G.R. No. L-34132, July 29, 1972]. vs.
THE MANILA RAILROAD COMPANY, defendant-appellant.
Harvey and O'Brien for plaintiffs-appellants. The following facts have been proven at the trial, some without question and the
Jose C. Abreu for defendant-appellant. others by a preponderance of evidence, to wit:

VILLA-REAL, J.: The plaintiff Aleko E. Lilius has, for many years, been a well-known and reputed
journalist, author and photographer. At the time of the collision in question, he was a
This case involves two appeals, one by the defendant the Manila Railroad Company, staff correspondent in the Far East of the magazines The American Weekly of New
and the other by the plaintiffs Aleko E. Lilius et al., from the judgment rendered by the York and The Sphere of London.
Court of First Instance of Manila, the dispositive part of which reads as follows:
Some of his works have been translated into various languages. He had others in
Wherefore, judgment is rendered ordering the defendant company to pay to preparation when the accident occurred. According to him, his writings netted him a
the plaintiffs, for the purposes above stated, the total amount of P30,865, monthly income of P1,500. He utilized the linguistic ability of his wife Sonja Maria
with the costs of the suit. And although the suit brought by the plaintiffs has Lilius, who translated his articles and books into English, German, and Swedish.
the nature of a joint action, it must be understood that of the amount Furthermore, she acted as his secretary.
adjudicated to the said plaintiffs in this judgment, the sum of P10,000
personally belongs to the plaintiff Sonja Maria Lilius; the sum of P5,000, to At about 7 o'clock on the morning of May 10, 1931, the plaintiff, his wife Sonja Maria
the plaintiff Brita Marianne Lilius; the sum of P250, to Dr. Marfori of the Lilius, and his 4-year old daughter Brita Marianne Lilius, left Manila in
Calauan Hospital, Province of Laguna, and the balance to the plaintiff Aleko their Studebaker car driven by the said plaintiff Aleko E. Lilius for the municipality
E. Lilius. of Pagsanjan, Province of Laguna, on a sight-seeing trip. It was the first time that he
made said trip although he had already been to many places, driving his own car, in
In support of its appeal, the appellant the Manila Railroad Company assigns nine and outside the Philippines. Where the road was clear and unobstructed, the plaintiff
alleged errors committed by the trial court in its said judgment, which will be discussed drove at the rate of from 19 to 25 miles an hour. Prior thereto, he had made the trip
in the course of this decision. as far as Calauan, but never from Calauan to Pagsanjan, via Dayap. He was entirely
unacquainted with the conditions of the road at said points and had no knowledge of
As a ground of their appeal, the appellants Aleko E. Lilius et al., in turn, assign two the existence of a railroad crossing at Dayap. Before reaching the crossing in question,
alleged errors as committed by the same court a quo in its judgment in question, there was nothing to indicate its existence and inasmuch as there were many houses,
which will be discussed later. shrubs and trees along the road, it was impossible to see an approaching train. At
about seven or eight meters from the crossing, coming from Calauan, the plaintiff saw
an autotruck parked on the left side of the road. Several people, who seemed to have
This case originated from a complaint filed by Aleko E. Lilius et al., praying, under the
alighted from the said truck, were walking on the opposite side. He slowed down to
facts therein alleged, that the Manila Railroad Company be ordered to pay to said
about 12 miles an hour and sounded his horn for the people to get out of the way.
plaintiffs, by way of indemnity for material and moral damages suffered by them
With his attention thus occupied, he did not see the crossing but he heard two short
through the fault and negligence of the said defendant entity's employees, the sum of
whistles. Immediately afterwards, he saw a huge black mass fling itself upon him,
P50,000 plus legal interest thereon from the date of the filing of the complaint, with
which turned out to be locomotive No. 713 of the defendant company's train coming
costs.
eastward from Bay to Dayap station. The locomotive struck the plaintiff's car right in
the center. After dragging the said car a distance of about ten meters, the locomotive
The defendant the Manila Railroad Company, answering the complaint, denies each
threw it upon a siding. The force of the impact was so great that the plaintiff's wife
and every allegation thereof and, by way of special defense, alleges that the plaintiff
and daughter were thrown from the car and were picked up from the ground
Aleko E. Lilius, with the cooperation of his wife and coplaintiff, negligently and
unconscious and seriously hurt. In spite of the efforts of engineer Andres Basilio, he
recklessly drove his car, and prays that it be absolved from the complaint.
was unable to stop the locomotive until after it had gone about seventy meters from
the crossing.
On the afternoon of the same day, the plaintiff's entered St. Paul's Hospital in the City to serve as a warning to passers-by of its existence in order that they might take the
of Manila where they were treated by Dr. Waterous. The plaintiff Aleko E. Lilius necessary precautions before crossing the railroad; and, on the part of its employees
suffered from a fractured nose, a contusion above the left eye and a lacerated wound the flagman and switchman, for not having remained at his post at the crossing in
on the right leg, in addition to multiple contusions and scratches on various parts of question to warn passers-by of the approaching train; the stationmaster, for failure to
the body. As a result of the accident, the said plaintiff was highly nervous and very send the said flagman and switchman to his post on time; and the engineer, for not
easily irritated, and for several months he had great difficulty in concentrating his having taken the necessary precautions to avoid an accident, in view of the absence
attention on any matter and could not write articles nor short stories for the of said flagman and switchman, by slackening his speed and continuously ringing the
newspapers and magazines to which he was a contributor, thus losing for some time bell and blowing the whistle before arriving at the crossing. Although it is probable
his only means of livelihood. that the defendant-appellant entity employed the diligence of a good father of a
family in selecting its aforesaid employees, however, it did not employ such diligence
The plaintiff Sonja Maria Lilius suffered from fractures of the pelvic bone, the tibia and in supervising their work and the discharge of their duties because, otherwise, it would
fibula of the right leg, below the knee, and received a large lacerated wound on the have had a semaphore or sign at the crossing and, on previous occasions as well as on
forehead. She underwent two surgical operations on the left leg for the purpose of the night in question, the flagman and switchman would have always been at his post
joining the fractured bones but said operations notwithstanding, the leg in question at the crossing upon the arrival of a train. The diligence of a good father of a family,
still continues deformed. In the opinion of Dr. Waterous, the deformity is permanent which the law requires in order to avoid damage, is not confined to the careful and
in character and as a result the plaintiff will have some difficulty in walking. The prudent selection of subordinates or employees but includes inspection of their work
lacerated wound, which she received on her forehead, has left a disfiguring scar. and supervision of the discharge of their duties.

The child Brita Marianne Lilius received two lacerated wounds, one on the forehead However, in order that a victim of an accident may recover indemnity for damages
and the other on the left side of the face, in addition to fractures of both legs, above from the person liable therefor, it is not enough that the latter has been guilty of
and below the knees. Her condition was serious and, for several days, she was negligence, but it is also necessary that the said victim has not, through his own
hovering between life and death. Due to a timely and successful surgical operation, negligence, contributed to the accident, inasmuch as nobody is a guarantor of his
she survived her wounds. The lacerations received by the child have left deep scars neighbor's personal safety and property, but everybody should look after them,
which will permanently disfigure her face, and because of the fractures of both legs, employing the care and diligence that a good father of a family should apply to his
although now completely cured, she will be forced to walk with some difficulty and own person, to the members of his family and to his property, in order to avoid any
continuous extreme care in order to keep her balance. damage. It appears that the herein plaintiff-appellant Aleko E. Lilius took all
precautions which his skill and the presence of his wife and child suggested to him in
Prior to the accident, there had been no notice nor sign of the existence of the order that his pleasure trip might be enjoyable and have a happy ending, driving his
crossing, nor was there anybody to warn the public of approaching trains. The flagman car at a speed which prudence demanded according to the circumstances and
or switchman arrived after the collision, coming from the station with a red flag in one conditions of the road, slackening his speed in the face of an obstacle and blowing his
hand and a green one in the other, both of which were wound on their respective horn upon seeing persons on the road, in order to warn them of his approach and
sticks. The said flagman and switchman had many times absented himself from his request them to get out of the way, as he did when he came upon the truck parked
post at the crossing upon the arrival of a train. The train left Bay station a little late on the left hand side of the road seven or eight meters from the place where the
and therefore traveled at great speed. accident occurred, and upon the persons who appeared to have alighted from the said
truck. If he failed to stop, look and listen before going over the crossing, in spite of the
fact that he was driving at 12 miles per hour after having been free from obstacles, it
Upon examination of the oral as well as of the documentary evidence which the
was because, his attention having been occupied in attempting to go ahead, he did
parties presented at the trial in support of their respective contentions, and after
not see the crossing in question, nor anything, nor anybody indicating its existence, as
taking into consideration all the circumstances of the case, this court is of the opinion
he knew nothing about it beforehand. The first and only warning, which he received
that the accident was due to negligence on the part of the defendant-appellant
of the impending danger, was two short blows from the whistle of the locomotive
company, for not having had on that occasion any semaphore at the crossing at Dayap,
immediately preceding the collision and when the accident had already become suffered any facial deformity, nor did he have the social standing that the herein
inevitable. plaintiff-appellant Sonja Maria Lilius enjoys.1vvphi1.ne+

In view of the foregoing considerations, this court is of the opinion that the defendant As to the indemnity of P5,000 in favor of the child Brita Marianne Lilius, daughter of
the Manila Railroad Company alone is liable for the accident by reason of its own Aleko E. Lilius and Sonja Maria Lilius, neither is the same excessive, taking into
negligence and that of its employees, for not having employed the diligence of a good consideration the fact that the lacerations received by her have left deep scars that
father of a family in the supervision of the said employees in the discharge of their permanently disfigure her face and that the fractures of both her legs permanently
duties. render it difficult for her to walk freely, continuous extreme care being necessary in
order to keep her balance in addition to the fact that all of this unfavorably and to a
The next question to be decided refers to the sums of money fixed by the court a great extent affect her matrimonial future.
quo as indemnities for damages which the defendant company should pay to the
plaintiffs-appellants. With respect to the plaintiffs' appeal, the first question to be decided is that raised by
the plaintiff Aleko E. Lilius relative to the insufficiency of the sum of P5,000 which the
With respect to the plaintiff-appellant Aleko E. Lilius, although this court believes his trial court adjudicated to him by way of indemnity for damages consisting in the loss
claim of a net income of P1,500 a month to be somewhat exaggerated, however, the of his income as journalist and author as a result of his illness. This question has
sum of P5,000, adjudicated to him by the trial court as indemnity for damages, is impliedly been decided in the negative when the defendant-appellant entity's petition
reasonable. for the reduction of said indemnity was denied, declaring it to be reasonable.

As to the sum of P10,635 which the court awards to the plaintiffs by way of indemnity As to the amount of P10,000 claimed by the plaintiff Aleko E. Lilius as damages for the
for damages, the different items thereof representing doctor's fees, hospital and loss of his wife's services in his business as journalist and author, which services
nursing services, loss of personal effects and torn clothing, have duly been proven at consisted in going over his writings, translating them into English, German and
the trial and the sum in question is not excessive, taking into consideration the Swedish, and acting as his secretary, in addition to the fact that such services formed
circumstances in which the said expenses have been incurred. part of the work whereby he realized a net monthly income of P1,500, there is no
sufficient evidence of the true value of said services nor to the effect that he needed
Taking into consideration the fact that the plaintiff Sonja Maria Lilius, wife of the them during her illness and had to employ a translator to act in her stead.
plaintiff Aleko E. Lilius is in the language of the court, which saw her at the trial
"young and beautiful and the big scar, which she has on her forehead caused by the The plaintiff Aleko E. Lilius also seeks to recover the sum of P2,500 for the loss of what
lacerated wound received by her from the accident, disfigures her face and that the is called Anglo-Saxon common law "consortium" of his wife, that is, "her services,
fracture of her left leg has caused a permanent deformity which renders it very society and conjugal companionship", as a result of personal injuries which she had
difficult for her to walk", and taking into further consideration her social standing, received from the accident now under consideration.
neither is the sum of P10,000, adjudicated to her by the said trial court by way of
indemnity for patrimonial and moral damages, excessive. In the case In the case of Goitia vs. Campos Rueda (35 Phil., 252, 255, 256), this court, interpreting
of Gutierrez vs. Gutierrez (56 Phil., 177), the right leg of the plaintiff Narciso Gutierrez the provisions of the Civil Marriage Law of 1870, in force in these Islands with
was fractured as a result of a collision between the autobus in which he was riding and reference to the mutual rights and obligations of the spouses, contained in articles 44-
the defendant's car, which fractured required medical attendance for a considerable 48 thereof, said as follows:
period of time. On the day of the trial the fracture had not yet completely healed but
it might cause him permanent lameness. The trial court sentenced the defendants to The above quoted provisions of the Law of Civil Marriage and the Civil Code
indemnify him in the sum of P10,000 which this court reduced to P5,000, in spite of fix the duties and obligations of the spouses. The spouses must be faithful to,
the fact that the said plaintiff therein was neither young nor good-looking, nor had he assist, and support each other. The husband must live with and protect his
wife. The wife must obey and live with her husband and follow him when he
changes his domicile or residence, except when he removes to a foreign and on the left leg, suffered by a young and beautiful society woman, is not excessive;
country. . . . (3) that an indemnity of P5,000 for a permanent deformity on the face and legs of a
four-year old girl belonging to a well-to-do family, is not excessive; and (4) that in order
Therefore, under the law and the doctrine of this court, one of the husband's rights is that a husband may recover damages for deprivation of his wife's assistance during
to count on his wife's assistance. This assistance comprises the management of the her illness from an accident, it is necessary for him to prove the existence of such
home and the performance of household duties, including the care and education of assistance and his wife's willingness to continue rendering it had she not been
the children and attention to the husband upon whom primarily devolves the duty of prevented from so doing by her illness.
supporting the family of which he is the head. When the wife's mission was
circumscribed to the home, it was not difficult to assume, by virtue of the marriage The plaintiffs-appellants are entitled to interest of 6 percent per annum on the
alone, that she performed all the said tasks and her physical incapacity always amount of the indemnities adjudicated to them, from the date of the appealed
redounded to the husband's prejudice inasmuch as it deprived him of her assistance. judgment until this judgment becomes final, in accordance with the provisions of
However, nowadays when women, in their desire to be more useful to society and to section 510 of Act No. 190.
the nation, are demanding greater civil rights and are aspiring to become man's equal
in all the activities of life, commercial and industrial, professional and political, many Wherefore, not finding any error in the judgment appealed from, it is hereby
of them spending their time outside the home, engaged in their businesses, industry, affirmed in toto, with the sole modification that interest of 6 per cent per annum from
profession and within a short time, in politics, and entrusting the care of their home the date of the appealed judgment until this judgment becomes final will be added to
to a housekeeper, and their children, if not to a nursemaid, to public or private the indemnities granted, with the costs of both instances against the appellant. So
institutions which take charge of young children while their mothers are at work, ordered.
marriage has ceased to create the presumption that a woman complies with the duties
to her husband and children, which the law imposes upon her, and he who seeks to
Chattel Mortgage
collect indemnity for damages resulting from deprivation of her domestic services
By a chattel mortgage, personal property is recorded in the Chattel Mortgage Register
must prove such services. In the case under consideration, apart from the services of
as a security for the performance of an obligation. If the movable, instead of being
his wife Sonja Maria Lilius as translator and secretary, the value of which has not been
recorded, is delivered to the creditor or a third person, the contract is a pledge and
proven, the plaintiff Aleko E. Lilius has not presented any evidence showing the
not a chattel mortgage. [Article 2140, New Civil Code]
existence of domestic services and their nature, rendered by her prior to the accident,
in order that it may serve as a basis in estimating their value.
Relevant Laws

Furthermore, inasmuch as a wife's domestic assistance and conjugal companionship 1. Chattel Mortgage Law (Act No. 1508)
are purely personal and voluntary acts which neither of the spouses may be compelled 2. New Civil Code - Art 2140 to 2141, and suppletorily, provisions on pledge
to render (Arroyo vs. Vazquez de Arroyo, 42 Phil., 54), it is necessary for the party 3. Revised Administrative Code
claiming indemnity for the loss of such services to prove that the person obliged to 4. Revised Penal Code - Art 319
render them had done so before he was injured and that he would be willing to 5. Ship Mortgage Decree of 1978 (PD 1521) - mortgage of vessels of domestic
continue rendering them had he not been prevented from so doing. ownership

In view of the foregoing considerations this court is of the opinion and so holds: (1) The provisions of the Civil Code on pledge, insofar as they are not in conflict with the
That a railroad company which has not installed a semaphore at a crossing an does Chattel Mortgage Law, shall be applicable to chattel mortgage law. [Article 2141,
not see to it that its flagman and switchman faithfully complies with his duty of New Civil Code]
remaining at the crossing when a train arrives, is guilty of negligence and is civilly liable
for damages suffered by a motorist and his family who cross its line without negligence Registration of a chattel mortgage
on their part; (2) that an indemnity of P10,000 for a permanent deformity on the face
Rules on registration and affects nobody's rights except as a specifies of notice. [Standard Oil Co. of New
York vs Jaramillo, G.R. No. L-20329, March 16, 1923] (Underscoring supplied)
In order to execute a valid chattel mortgage, the mortgage must recorded in the
Chattel Mortgage Register. Subject matter of chattel mortgage

(i) If the mortgagor resides within the Philippines, it must be registered in the province Only personal or movable properties may be the subject of a chattel mortgage. [Article
in which the mortgagor resides at the time of execution of the chattel mortgage. 2140, Civil Code, Section 2, Act No. 1508]

(ii) If the mortgagor resides outside the Philippines, it must be registered in the (a) Shares of stock
province in which the property is situated.
Shares of stock can be the subject of a chattel mortgage. [Monserrat vs Ceron, G.R. No.
(iii) If the property is situated in a different province from that in which the mortgagor 37078, September 27, 1933]
resides, the mortgage must be registered in both the province in which the mortgagor
resides and that in which the property is situated, (b) Machinery

(iv) For purposes of the Chattel Mortgage Law, the City of Manila shall be deemed to In Makati Leasing and Finance Corp. vs Wearever Textile Phils., Inc. [G.R. No. L-58469,
be a province. May 16, 1983], the Supreme Court ruled that machinery, which is movable by nature,
[Section 4, Act No 1508] even if immobilized by destination or purpose and hence is already considered
Note: immovable property, may be a valid subject of a chattel mortgage between the parties
where no third persons are prejudiced thereby.
In case of mortgage of a motor vehicle, in order to affect third persons, the mortgage
must be registered both in the Chattel Mortgage Registry and Land Transportation It is undeniable that the parties to a contract may by agreement treat as personal
Office. [Borlough vs Fortune Enterprises, G.R. No. L-9451, March 29, 1957] property that which by nature would be real property; [Standard Oil Co. of New York
vs Jaramillo, G.R. No. L-20329, March 16, 1923]
Duty of Register of Deeds is ministerial
(c) Building
The duties of a register of deeds in respect to the registration of chattel mortgage are
of a purely ministerial character; and no provision of law can be cited which confers The registration of the chattel mortgage of a building of strong materials produce no
upon him any judicial or quasi-judicial power to determine the nature of any effect as far as the building is concerned. xxx As personal properties could only be the
document of which registration is sought as a chattel mortgage. subject of a chattel mortgage xxx the execution of the chattel mortgage covering said
building is clearly invalid and a nullity [and the registration] produced no effect
The original provisions touching this matter are contained in section 15 of the Chattel whatsoever for where the interest conveyed is in the nature of a real property, the
Mortgage Law (Act No. 1508), as amended by Act No. 2496; but these have been registration of the document in the registry of chattels is merely a futile
transferred to section 198 of the Administrative Code, where they are now found. act. [Associated Insurance & Surety Company vs. Isabel Iya, G.R. No. L-10837, May 30,
There is nothing in any of these provisions conferring upon the register of deeds any 1958;Leung Yee vs. Strong Machinery Co., G.R. No. L-11658, February 15, 1918]
authority whatever in respect to the "qualification," as the term is used in Spanish law,
of chattel mortgage. His duties in respect to such instruments are ministerial only. The (d) Large cattle and growing crops
efficacy of the act of recording a chattel mortgage consists in the fact that it operates
as constructive notice of the existence of the contract, and the legal effects of the By virtue of Section 7 of Act No. 1508, large cattle and growing crops are considered
contract must be discovered in the instrument itself in relation with the fact of as personal property for purposes of chattel mortgage, even though they would
notice. Registration adds nothing to the instrument, considered as a source of title,
otherwise be treated as real or immovable property under Article 415 of the New Civil must expressly provide that such future acquisitions shall be held as included in the
Code. mortgage. . . . Where a mortgage covering the stock in trade, furniture, and fixtures in
the mortgagor's store provides that 'all goods, stock in trade, furniture, and fixtures
Extent of chattel mortgage hereafter purchased by the mortgagor shall be included in and covered by the
mortgage,' the mortgage covers all after-acquired property of the classes mentioned,
The Chattel Mortgage Law provides: and, upon foreclosure, such property may be taken and sold by the mortgagee the
same as the property in possession of the mortgagor at the time the mortgage was
Sec. 7. The description of the mortgaged property shall be such as to enable the executed." [Torres vs Limjap, G.R. No. 34385, September 21, 1931](citation sommitted)
parties to the mortgage, or any other person, after reasonable inquiry and
investigation, to identify the same. Chattel mortgage does not secure after-incurred obligations
xxx
A chattel mortgage shall be deemed to cover only the property described therein and While a pledge, real estate mortgage, or antichresis may exceptionally secure after-
not like or substituted property thereafter acquired by the mortgagor and placed in incurred obligations so long as these future debts are accurately described, a chattel
the same depository as the property originally mortgaged, anything in the mortgage mortgage, however, can only cover obligations existing at the time the mortgage is
to the contrary notwithstanding. constituted. Although a promise expressed in a chattel mortgage to include debts that
are yet to be contracted can be a binding commitment that can be compelled upon,
It has been held that Section 7 above does not apply "to stores open to the public for the security itself, however, does not come into existence or arise until after a chattel
retail business, where the goods are constantly sold and substituted with new stock, mortgage agreement covering the newly contracted debt is executed either by
such as drug stores, grocery stores, dry- goods stores, etc. If said provision were concluding a fresh chattel mortgage or by amending the old contract conformably
intended to apply to this class of business, it would be practically impossible to with the form prescribed by the Chattel Mortgage Law.
constitute a mortgage on such stores without closing them, contrary to the very spirit
and purpose of said Act, Such a construction would bring about a handicap to trade Refusal on the part of the borrower to execute the agreement so as to cover the after-
and business, would restrain the circulation of capital, and would defeat the purpose incurred obligation can constitute an act of default on the part of the borrower of the
for which the law was enacted, to wit, the promotion of business and the economic financing agreement whereon the promise is written but, of course, the remedy of
development of the country." foreclosure can only cover the debts extant at the time of constitution and during the
life of the chattel mortgage sought to be foreclosed. [Acme Shoe, Rubber & Plastic Corp
Consequently, "the provision of the last paragraph of section 7 of Act No. 1508 is not vs Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 103576, August 22, 1996] (Emphasis supplied)
applicable to drug stores, bazaars and all other stores in the nature of a revolving and
floating business." Affidavit of good faith
[Torres vs Limjap, G.R. No. 34385, September 21, 1931]
Under Section 5 of The Chattel Mortgage Law (Act No. 1508), a chattel mortgage shall
Chattel mortgage may cover after-acquired property be deemed to be sufficient when made substantially in the form provided under the
aforesaid provision. The form includes an oath referred to as an "affidavit of good
A stipulation in the mortgage, extending its scope and effect to after-acquired faith", to wit:
property, is valid and binding ". . . where the after-acquired property is in renewal of,
or in substitution for, goods on hand when the mortgage was executed, or is FORM OF OATH
purchased with the proceeds of the sale of such goods, etc."
xxx "We severally swear that the foregoing mortgage is made for the purpose of securing
"A mortgage may, by express stipulations, be drawn to cover goods put in stock in the obligation specified in the conditions thereof, and for no other purpose, and that
place of others sold out from time to time. A mortgage may be made to include future the same is a just and valid obligation, and one not entered into for the purpose of
acquisitions of goods to be added to the original stock mortgaged, but the mortgage fraud."
"The proceeds of such sale shall be applied to the payment, first, of the costs and
Affidavit of good faith not required for validity of mortgage, but only to give it a preferred expenses of keeping and sale, and then to the payment of the demand or obligation
status secured by such mortgage, and the residue shall be paid to persons holding
subsequent mortgages in their order, and the balance, after paying the mortgages,
As against creditors and subsequent encumbrancers, the law does require an affidavit shall be paid to the mortgagor or person holding under him on demand." (Emphasis
of good faith appended to the mortgage and recorded with it. A chattel mortgage may, supplied)
however, be valid as between the parties without such an affidavit of good faith. In 11
Corpus Juris, 482, the rule is expressly stated that as between the parties and as to Mortgagee Creditor's right to recover deficiency
third persons who have no rights against the mortgagor, no affidavit of good faith is
necessary. [Lilius vs Manila Railroad, G.R. No. 42551, September 4, 1935; Phil Refining In a number of cases, We already held that if in an extrajudicial foreclosure of a chattel
Co vs Jarque, G.R. No. 41506, March 25, 1935] mortgage a deficiency exists, an independent civil action may be instituted for the
recovery of said deficiency. If the mortgagee has foreclosed the mortgage judicially,
The special affidavit of good faith, on the other hand, is required only for the purpose he may ask for the execution of the judgment against any other property of the
of transforming an already valid mortgage into a "preferred mortgage." Thus, the mortgagor for the payment of the balance. To deny to the mortgagee the right to
abovementioned affidavit is not necessary for the validity of the chattel mortgage maintain an action to recover the deficiency after foreclosure of the chattel mortgage
itself but only to give it a preferred status. [Cebu International Finance Corp. vs. Court would be to overlook the fact that the chattel mortgage is only given a security and
of Appeals, G.R. No. 107554, February 13, 1997] not as payment for the debt in case of failure of payment. [Bicol Savings & Loan
Association vs Guinhawa, G.R. No. 62415, August 20, 1990]
Superior Lien of chattel mortgagee
The exception is when the mortgage is constituted to secure the purchase of a
The chattel mortgagee's right to the mortgaged property is superior to that of the personal property payable in installments. Art 1484 (3) of the New Civil Code provides
judgment creditor or the latter's assignee. that the mortgagee may foreclose the chattel mortgage on the thing sold should the
vendee/mortgagor fail to pay two or more installments. In such case, the mortgagee
Moreover, at an execution sale, the buyers acquire only the right of the judgment "shall have no further action against the purhaser to recover any unpaid balance of
debtor which in this case was a mere right or equity of redemption. The sale did not the price. Any agreement to the contrary shall be void."
extinguish the pre-existing mortgage lien. [Northern Motors vs Coquia, G.R. No. L-
40018, December 15, 1975] Criminal liability

Remedy if mortgagor refuses to surrender possession of mortgaged chattel Article 319, Chapter 7, Book Two of the Revised Penal Code provides:

When the mortgagor refuses to surrender possession of the mortgaged chattel an Art. 319. Removal, sale or pledge of mortgaged property. The penalty or arresto
action of judicial foreclosure necessarily arises, or one of replevin to secure possession mayor or a fine amounting to twice the value of the property shall be imposed upon:
as a preliminary step to the sale contemplated in Section 14 of Act No. 1508 .[Florencio
Seno vs. Fausto Pestolante, G.R. No. L-11755, April 23, 1958] 1. Any person who shall knowingly remove any personal property mortgaged under
the Chattel Mortgage Law to any province or city other than the one in which it was
Mortgagor Debtor's right to recover the excess proceeds in case of foreclosure sale located at the time of the execution of the mortgage, without the written consent of
the mortgagee, or his executors, administrators or assigns.
The mortgagor is entitled to the excess of the proceeds from the foreclosure sale of
the mortgaged chattel. As provided under Section 14 of Act No. 1508: 2. Any mortgagor who shall sell or pledge personal property already pledged, or any
part thereof, under the terms of the Chattel Mortgage Law, without the consent of
the mortgagee written on the back of the mortgage and noted on the record hereof Agustin V. Velante for petitioner.
in the office of the Register of Deeds of the province where such property is located. Manuel M. Katapang for private respondent.

An essential element common to the two acts punished under Article 319 of the PARAS, J.:
Revised Penal Code is that the property removed or repledged, as the case may be,
should be the same or identical property that was mortgaged or pledged before such The only issue before Us is whether or not a husband, as the administrator of the
removal or repledging. [People vs Chupeco, G.R. No. L-19568, March 31, 1964] conjugal partnership, may legally enter into a contract of lease involving conjugal real
property without the knowledge and consent of the wife.
The mere fact that the indebtedness secured by the mortgage has been paid in whole
or-in part, after a wrongful sale of the mortgaged property, does not necessarily
According to the Decision * rendered by the respondent Court of Appeals, the
relieve the wrongdoer of criminal liability for the offense committed by him.[US vs
pertinent facts of the case as alleged in plaintiff-petitioner's complaint indicate:
Kilayko, G.R. No. 10630, December 21, 1915]
1. That plaintiff is of legal age, married but living separately from husband,
The rule is settled that the chattel mortgagor continues to be the owner of the
one of the defendants herein and presently residing at No. 4 Ambrocia St.,
property, and therefore, has the power to alienate the same; however, he is obliged
Quezon City; while defendant Antonio S. Roxas is likewise of legal age and
under pain of penal liability, to secure the written consent of the mortgagee. Thus, the
living separately from his wife, plaintiff herein, with residence at No. 950
instruments of mortgage are binding, while they subsist, not only upon the parties
Quirino Highway, Novaliches, Quezon City where he may be served with
executing them but also upon those who later, by purchase or otherwise, acquire the
summons; and defendant Antonio M. Cayetano is of legal age and residing at
properties referred to therein.
No. 28 Mariano Olondriz Street, BF Homes, Paranaque, Metro Manila where
he may be served with summons;
The absence of the written consent of the mortgagee to the sale of the mortgaged
property in favor of a third person, therefore, affects not the validity of the sale but
only the penal liability of the mortgagor under the Revised Penal Code and the binding 2. That only recently, plaintiff discovered that her estranged husband,
effect of such sale on the mortgagee under the Deed of Chattel defendant Antonio S. Roxas, had entered into a contract of lease with
Mortgage. [Servicewide Specialists vs IAC, G.R. No. 74553, June 8, 1989] defendant Antonio M. Cayetano sometime on March 30, 1987 covering a
portion of their conjugal lot situated at 854 Quirino Highway, Novaliches,
Quezon City, described in T.C.T. No. 378197 (formerly T.C.T. No. 23881) of
the Land Registry for Quezon City without her previous knowledge, much less
her marital consent-xerox; copy of which lease contract is hereto attached as
Republic of the Philippines
Annex "A", and made an integral part hereof.
SUPREME COURT
Manila
3. That on the same lot, plaintiff had planned to put up her flea market with
at least twenty (20) stalls and mini-mart for grocery and dry goods items for
SECOND DIVISION
which she had filed an application for the corresponding Mayor's Permit and
Municipal License which had been approved since 1986, but when she
G.R. No. 92245 June 26, 1991 attempted to renew it for 1986, the same was disapproved last month due
to the complaint lodged by defendant Antonio M. Cayetano whose
MELANIA A. ROXAS, petitioner, application for renewal of Mayor's Permit and License for the same business
vs. of putting up a flea market, had been allegedly earlier approved;
THE HON. COURT OF APPEALS and ANTONIO M. CAYETANO, respondents.
4. That for the planning and initial construction of plaintiffs project to put up IT IS SO ORDERED. (p. 2 Order, dated August 16, 1989).
her own business of flea market and mini-mart grocery and wet and dry
stores which she had intended to operate partly by herself and lease the rest Plaintiff-petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration, which was denied by
of the twenty (20) stalls thereon, she had spent some P135,000.00 for the respondent Judge in its Order dated September 29, 1989. (Decision of Court
said construction, including materials and labor, where she had expected to of Appeals, pp. 1-4; Rollo, Annex "A", pp. 26-29)
earn as daily net income in the minimum amount of P500.00 daily;
Petitioner directly appealed the Decision of the lower court to the Supreme Court.
5. That due to the illegal lease contract entered into between the herein
defendants and the resultant unlawful deprivation of plaintiff from operating On November 27, 1989, the Second Division of this Court referred this case to the
her own legitimate business on the same lot of which she is a conjugal owner, Court of Appeals for "proper determination and disposition."
plaintiff has been compelled to seek redress and ventilate her grievance to
the court for which she has to engage the services of counsel with whom she
Respondent Court of Appeals rendered judgment affirming in toto the Order of the
agreed to pay as and for attorney's fees the sum of P10,000.00; plus the
trial court.
amount equivalent to 20% of whatever damages may be awarded to her in
addition to the sum of P500.00 per appearance in court.
Hence, this petition.
xxx xxx xxx
Under the New Civil Code (NCC), "Art. 165. The husband is the administrator of the
conjugal partnership," in view of the fact that the husband is principally responsible
xxx xxx xxx
for the support of the wife and the rest of the family. If the conjugal partnership does
not have enough assets, it is the husband's capital that is responsible for such support,
Dated July 31, 1989 defendant Antonio M. Cayetano moved to dismiss the not the paraphernal property. Responsibility should carry authority with it.
complaint on the sole ground that the complaint states no cause of action,
to which an Opposition was filed by plaintiff (now petitioner herein), while
The husband is not an ordinary administrator, for while a mere administrator has no
defendant Antonio S. Roxas, estranged husband of plaintiff-petitioner, filed
right to dispose of, sell, or otherwise alienate the property being administered, the
an answer.
husband can do so in certain cases allowed by law. He is not required by law to render
an accounting. Acts done under administration do not need the prior consent of the
Confronted with the private respondent's Motion to Dismiss, on August 16, wife.
1989, respondent Judge resolved said Motion by dismissing plaintiff-
petitioner's complaint in its Order dated August 16, 1989, the dispositive
However, administration does not include acts of ownership. For while the husband
portion of which reads, as follows:
can administer the conjugal assets unhampered, he cannot alienate or encumber the
conjugal realty. Thus, under Art. 166 of NCC "unless the wife has been declared a non-
It is said that the test of sufficiency of the cause of action is whether compos mentis or a spendthrift, or is under civil interdiction or is confined in a
admitting the facts alleged to be true, the court could render a valid leprosarium, the husband cannot alienate or encumber any real property of the
judgment in accordance with the prayer in the complaint. After conjugal partnership the wife's consent. If she refuses unreasonably to give her
examining the material allegations in the complaint, the Court finds consent, the court may compel her to grant the same." This rule prevents abuse on
that the complaint failed to satisfy the test of sufficiency. the part of the husband, and guarantees the rights of the wife, who is partly
responsible for the acquisition of the property, particularly the real property.
WHEREFORE, the complaint is dismissed for failure to state a Contracts entered into by the husband in violation of this prohibition are voidable and
sufficient cause of action. subject to annulment at the instance of the aggrieved wife. (Art. 173 of the Civil Code)
As stated in Black's Law Dictionary, the word "alienation" means 'the transfer of the in the instrument by which real property is conveyed or encumbered (See also 41
property and possession of lands, tenements, or other things from one person to C.J.S., p. 1149). In case the wife's consent is not secured by the husband as required
another . . . The act by which the title to real estate is voluntarily assigned by one by law, the wife has the remedy of filing an action for the annulment of the contract.
person to another and accepted by the latter, in the form prescribed by law. Cf. In re Art. 173 of the Civil Code states "the wife may, during the marriage and within ten
Enrhardt U.S.D.C. 19 F. 2d 406, 407 . . . ." While encumbrance "has been defined to be years from the transaction questioned, ask the courts for the annulment of any
every right to, or interest in, the land which may subsist in third persons, to the contract of the husband entered into without her consent, when such consent is
diminution of the value of the land, but consistent with the passing of the fee by the required. . . .
conveyance; any (act) that impairs the use or transfer of property or real estate . . ."
(42 C.J.S., p. 549). In the case at bar, the allegation in paragraph 2 of the complaint indicates that
petitioner's estranged husband, defendant Antonio S. Roxas had entered into a
The pivotal issue in this case is whether or not a lease is an encumbrance and/or contract of lease with defendant Antonio M. Cayetano without her marital consent
alienation within the scope of Art. 166 of the New Civil Code. being secured as required by law under Art. 166 of the Civil Code. Petitioner,
therefore, has a cause of action under Art. 173 to file a case for annulment of the
Under Art. 1643 of the New Civil Code "In the lease of things, one of the parties binds contract of lease entered into without her consent. Petitioner has a cause of action
himself to give to another the enjoyment or use of a thing for a price certain, and for not only against her husband but also against the lessee, Antonio M. Cayetano, who is
a period which may be definite or indefinite. However, no lease for more than ninety- a party to the contract of lease.
nine years shall be valid." Under the law, lease is a grant of use and possession: it is
not only a grant of possession as opined by the Court of Appeals. The right to possess PREMISES CONSIDERED, the decision of the Court of Appeals is hereby SET ASIDE and
does not always include the right to use. For while the bailee in the contract of deposit this case is hereby REMANDED to the Regional Trial court for further proceedings.
holds the property in trust, he is not granted by law the right to make use of the
property in deposit. SO ORDERED.

In the contract of lease, the lessor transfers his light of use in favor of the lessee. The
lessor's right of use is impaired, therein. He may even be ejected by the lessee if the
lessor uses the leased realty. Therefore, lease is a burden on the land, it is an
encumbrance on the land. The opinion of the Court of Appeals that lease is not an
encumbrance is not supported by law. The concept of encumbrance includes lease,
thus "an encumbrance is sometimes construed broadly to include not only liens such
as mortgages and taxes, but also attachment, LEASES, inchoate dower rights, water
rights, easements, and other RESTRICTIONS on USE." (Capitalization is Ours) (533 Republic of the Philippines
Pacific Reporter [second series] 9, 12). SUPREME COURT
Manila
Moreover, lease is not only an encumbrance but also a "qualified alienation, with the
lessee becoming, for all legal intents and purposes, and subject to its terms, the owner FIRST DIVISION
of the thing affected by the lease." (51 C C.J.S., p. 522)
G.R. No. L-55322 February 16, 1989
Thus, the joinder of the wife, although unnecessary for an oral lease of conjugal realty
which does not exceed one year in duration, is required in a lease of conjugal realty
MOISES JOCSON, petitioner,
for a period of more than one year, such a lease being considered a conveyance and
vs.
encumbrance within the provisions of the Civil Code requiring the joinder of the wife
HON. COURT OF APPEALS, AGUSTINA JOCSON-VASQUEZ, ERNESTO thousand P10,000.00 pesos. On the same document Emilio Jocson
VASQUEZ, respondents. acknowledged receipt of the purchase price, thus:

Dolorfino and Dominguez Law Officers for petitioner. Na ngayon, alang-alang sa halagang SAMPUNG LIBONG PISO
(P10,000) salaping Pilipino na aking tinanggap ng buong kasiyahan
Gabriel G. Mascardo for private respondents. loob at ang pagkakatanggap ay aking hayagang inaamin sa
pamamagitan ng kasulatang ito, sa aking anak na si Agustina
MEDIALDEA, J.: Jocson, na may sapat na gulang, mamamayang Pilipino, asawa ni
Ernesto Vasquez, at naninirahan sa Poblacion, Naic, Cavite, ay aking
ipinagbile ng lubusan at kagyat at walang ano mang pasubali ang
This is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court of the
nabanggit na anim na pirasong lupa na nasa unang dahon ng
decision of the Court of Appeals in CA- G.R. No. 63474, promulgated on April 30, 1980,
dokumentong ito, sa nabanggit na Agustina Jocson, at sa kaniyang
entitled "MOISES JOCSON, plaintiff-appellee, versus AGUSTINA JOCSON-VASQUEZ and
tagapagmana o makakahalili at gayon din nais kong banggitin na
ERNESTO VASQUEZ, defendant-appellants," upholding the validity of three (3)
kahit na may kamurahan ang ginawa kong pagbibile ay dahilan sa
documents questioned by Moises Jocson, in total reversal of the decision of the then
ang nakabile ay aking anak na sa akin at mapaglingkod, madamayin
Court of First Instance of Cavite, Branch I, which declared them as null and void; and
at ma-alalahanin, na tulad din ng isa ko pang anak na lalaki. Ang
of its resolution, dated September 30, 1980, denying therein appellee's motion for
kuartang tinanggap ko na P10,000.00, ay gagamitin ko sa aking
reconsideration.
katandaan at mga huling araw at sa aking mga ibang mahahalagang
pangangailangan. [Emphasis supplied]
Petitioner Moises Jocson and respondent Agustina Jocson-Vasquez are the only
surviving offsprings of the spouses Emilio Jocson and Alejandra Poblete, while
Na nais ko ring banggitin na ang ginawa kong ito ay hindi labag sa
respondent Ernesto Vasquez is the husband of Agustina. Alejandra Poblete
ano mang batas o kautusan, sapagkat ang aking pinagbile ay akin at
predeceased her husband without her intestate estate being settled. Subsequently,
nasa aking pangalan. Ang mga lupang nasa pangalan ng aking
Emilio Jocson also died intestate on April 1, 1972.
nasirang asawa ay hindi ko ginagalaw ni pinakikialaman at iyon ay
dapat na hatiin ng dalawa kong anak alinsunod sa umiiral na batas
As adverted to above, the present controversy concerns the validity of three (3)
(p. 13, Records.)
documents executed by Emilio Jocson during his lifetime. These documents
purportedly conveyed, by sale, to Agustina Jocson-Vasquez what apparently covers
2) "Kasulatan ng Ganap na Bilihan,"dated July 27,1968, marked as
almost all of his properties, including his one-third (1/3) share in the estate of his wife.
Exhibit 4 (p. 14, Records). On the face of this document, Emilio
Petitioner Moises Jocson assails these documents and prays that they be declared null
Jocson purportedly sold to Agustina Jocson-Vasquez, for the sum of
and void and the properties subject matter therein be partitioned between him and
FIVE THOUSAND (P5,000.00) PESOS, two rice mills and a camarin
Agustina as the only heirs of their deceased parents.
(camalig) located at Naic, Cavite. As in the first document, Moises
Jocson acknowledged receipt of the purchase price:
The documents, which were presented as evidence not by Moises Jocson, as the party
assailing its validity, but rather by herein respondents, are the following:
'Na alang-alang sa halagang LIMANG LIBONG PISO (P5,000.00)
salaping Pilipino na aking tinanggap ng buong kasiyahan loob sa
1) "Kasulatan ng Bilihan ng Lupa," marked as Exhibit 3 (pp. 12-13,
aking anak na Agustina Jocson .... Na ang halagang ibinayad sa akin
Records) for the defendant in the court a quo, dated July 27, 1968.
ay may kamurahan ng kaunti ngunit dahil sa malaking pagtingin ko
By this document Emilio Jocson sold to Agustina Jocson-Vasquez six
sa kaniya ... kaya at pinagbile ko sa kaniya ang mga nabanggit na
(6) parcels of land, all located at Naic, Cavite, for the sum of ten
pagaari kahit na hindi malaking halaga ... (p. 14, Records).
3) Lastly, the "Deed of Extrajudicial Partition and Adjudication with 8. [With regard the first document, that] the defendants, through
Sale, "dated March 9, 1969, marked as Exhibit 2 (p. 10-11, Records), fraud, deceit, undue pressure and influence and other illegal
whereby Emilio Jocson and Agustina Jocson-Vasquez, without the machinations, were able to induce, led, and procured their father ...
participation and intervention of Moises Jocson, extrajudicially to sign [the] contract of sale ..., for the simulated price of
partitioned the unsettled estate of Alejandra Poblete, dividing the P10,000.00, which is a consideration that is shocking to the
same into three parts, one-third (1/3) each for the heirs of Alejandra conscience of ordinary man and despite the fact that said
Poblete, namely: Emilio Jocson, Agustina Jocson-Vasquez and defendants have no work or livelihood of their own ...; that the sale
Moises Jocson. By the same instrument, Emilio sold his one- third is null and void, also, because it is fictitious, simulated and fabricated
(1/3) share to Agustin for the sum of EIGHT THOUSAND (P8,000.00) contract x x x (pp. 52-53, Record on Appeal). [Emphasis supplied]
PESOS. As in the preceding documents, Emilio Jocson acknowledged
receipt of the purchase price: xxx xxx xxx

Now for and in consideration of the sum of only eight thousand 12. [With regards the second and third document, that they] are null
(P8,000.00) pesos, which I, the herein Emilio Jocson had received and void because the consent of the father, Emilio Jocson, was
from my daughter Agustina Jocson, do hereby sell, cede, convey and obtained with fraud, deceit, undue pressure, misrepresentation and
transfer, unto the said Agustina Jocson, her heirs and assigns, unlawful machinations and trickeries committed by the defendant
administrators and successors in interests, in the nature of absolute on him; and that the said contracts are simulated, fabricated and
and irrevocable sale, all my rights, interest, shares and participation, fictitious, having been made deliberately to exclude the plaintiff
which is equivalent to one third (1/3) share in the properties herein from participating and with the dishonest and selfish motive on the
mentioned and described the one third being adjudicated unto part of the defendants to defraud him of his legitimate share on said
Agustina Jocson and the other third (1/3) portion being the share of properties [subject matter thereof]; and that without any other
Moises Jocson. (p. 11, Records). business or employment or any other source of income, defendants
who were just employed in the management and administration of
These documents were executed before a notary public. Exhibits 3 and 4 were the business of their parents, would not have the sufficient and
registered with the Office of the Register of Deeds of Cavite on July 29, 1968 and the ample means to purchase the said properties except by getting the
transfer certificates of title covering the properties therein in the name of Emilio earnings of the business or by simulated consideration ... (pp. 54-
Jocson, married to Alejandra Poblete," were cancelled and new certificates of title 55, Record on Appeal). [Emphasis supplied]
were issued in the name of Agustina Jocson-Vasquez. Exhibit 2 was not registered with
the Office of the Register of Deeds. Petitioner explained that there could be no real sale between a father and daughter
who are living under the same roof, especially so when the father has no need of
Herein petitioner filed his original complaint (Record on Appeal, p. 27, Rollo) on June money as the properties supposedly sold were all income-producing. Further,
20,1973 with the then Court of First Instance of Naic, Cavite (docketed as Civil Case petitioner claimed that the properties mentioned in Exhibits 3 and 4 are the
No. TM- 531), and which was twice amended. In his Second Amended Complaint (pp. unliquidated conjugal properties of Emilio Jocson and Alejandra Poblete which the
47-58, Record on Appeal), herein petitioner assailed the above documents, as former, therefore, cannot validly sell (pp. 53, 57, Record on Appeal). As far as Exhibit
aforementioned, for being null and void. 2 is concerned, petitioner questions not the extrajudicial partition but only the sale by
his father to Agustina of the former's 1/3 share (p. 13, Rollo).
It is necessary to partly quote the allegation of petitioner in his complaint for the
reason that the nature of his causes of action is at issue, thus: The trial court sustained the foregoing contentions of petitioner (pp. 59-81, Record on
Appeal). It declared that the considerations mentioned in the documents were merely
simulated and fictitious because: 1) there was no showing that Agustina Jocson-
Vasquez paid for the properties; 2) the prices were grossly inadequate which is succession, and the appellee's (herein petitioner) remaining 1/3 has
tantamount to lack of consideration at all; and 3) the improbability of the sale between not been prejudiced (pp. 41-42, Rollo).
Emilio Jocson and Agustina Jocson-Vasquez, taking into consideration the
circumstances obtaining between the parties; and that the real intention of the parties In this petition for review, Moises Jocson raised the following assignments of errors:
were donations designed to exclude Moises Jocson from participating in the estate of
his parents. It further declared the properties mentioned in Exhibits 3 and 4 as 1. HAS THE RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN
conjugal properties of Emilio Jocson and Alejandra Poblete, because they were CONCLUDING THAT THE SUIT FOR THE ANNULMENT OF
registered in the name of "Emilio Jocson, married to Alejandra Poblete" and ordered CONTRACTS FILED BY PETITIONERS WITH THE TRIAL COURT IS
that the properties subject matter of all the documents be registered in the name of "BASED ON FRAUD" AND NOT ON ITS INEXISTENCE AND NULLITY
herein petitioners and private respondents. BECAUSE OF IT'S BEING SIMULATED OR FICTITIOUS OR WHOSE
CAUSE IS CONTRARY TO LAW, MORALS AND GOOD CUSTOMS?
On appeal, the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. No. 63474-R rendered a decision (pp. 29-
42, Rollo) and reversed that of the trial court's and ruled that: II. HAS THE RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN
CONCLUDING THAT THE COMPLAINT FILED BY PETITIONER IN THE
1. That insofar as Exhibits 3 and 4 are concerned the appellee's TRIAL COURT IS BARRED BY PRESCRIPTION?
complaint for annulment, which is indisputably based on fraud, and
undue influence, is now barred by prescription, pursuant to the III. HAS THE RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN NOT
settled rule that an action for annulment of a contract based on DECLARING AS INEXISTENT AND NULL AND VOID THE CONTRACTS
fraud must be filed within four (4) years, from the discovery of the IN QUESTION AND IN REVERSING THE DECLARING DECISION OF THE
fraud, ... which in legal contemplation is deemed to be the date of TRIAL COURT? (p. 2, Rollo)
the registration of said document with the Register of Deeds ... and
the records admittedly show that both Exhibits 3 and 4, were all
I.
registered on July 29, 1968, while on the other hand, the appellee's
complaint was filed on June 20, 1973, clearly beyond the aforesaid
The first and second assignments of errors are related and shall be jointly discussed.
four-year prescriptive period provided by law;

According to the Court of Appeals, herein petitioner's causes of action were based on
2. That the aforesaid contracts, Exhibits 2, 3, and 4, are decisively
fraud. Under Article 1330 of the Civil Code, a contract tainted by vitiated consent, as
not simulated or fictitious contracts, since Emilio Jocson actually and
when consent was obtained through fraud, is voidable; and the action for annulment
really intended them to be effective and binding against him, as to
must be brought within four years from the time of the discovery of the fraud (Article
divest him of the full dominion and ownership over the properties
1391, par. 4, Civil Code), otherwise the contract may no longer be contested. Under
subject of said assailed contracts, as in fact all his titles over the
present jurisprudence, discovery of fraud is deemed to have taken place at the time
same were all cancelled and new ones issued to appellant Agustina
the convenant was registered with the Register of Deeds (Gerona vs. De Guzman, No.
Jocson-Vasquez ...;
L-19060, May 29,1964, 11 SCRA 153). Since Exhibits 3 and 4 were registered on July
29, 1968 but Moises Jocson filed his complaint only on June 20, 1973, the Court of
3. That in regard to Exhibit 2, the same is valid and subsisting, and
Appeals ruled that insofar as these documents were concerned, petitioner's
the partition with sale therein made by and between Emilio Jocson
"annulment suit" had prescribed.
and Agustina Jocson-Vasquez, affecting the 2/3 portion of the
subject properties described therein have all been made in
If fraud were the only ground relied upon by Moises Jocson in assailing the questioned
accordance with Article 996 of the New Civil Code on intestate
documents, We would have sustained the above pronouncement. But it is not so. As
pointed out by petitioner, he further assailed the deeds of conveyance on the ground
that they were without consideration since the amounts appearing thereon as paid mentioned in Exhibit 3 was P8,920; Exhibit 4, P3,500; and Exhibit 2, P 24,840, while
were in fact merely simulated. the purchase price paid was P10,000, P5,000, and P8,000, respectively, the latter for
the 1/3 share of Emilio Jocson from the paraphernal properties of his wife, Alejandra
According to Article 1352 of the Civil Code, contracts without cause produce no effect Poblete. And any difference between the market value and the purchase price, which
whatsoever. A contract of sale with a simulated price is void (Article 1471; also Article as admitted by Emilio Jocson was only slight, may not be so shocking considering that
1409 [3]]), and an action for the declaration of its nullity does not prescribe (Article the sales were effected by a father to her daughter in which case filial love must be
1410, Civil Code; See also, Castillo v. Galvan, No. L-27841, October 20, l978, 85 SCRA taken into consideration (Alsua-Betts vs. Court of Appeals, No. L-46430-31, April 30,
526). Moises Jocsons saction, therefore, being for the judicial declaration of nullity of 1979, 92 SCRA 332).
Exhibits 3 and 4 on the ground of simulated price, is imprescriptible.
Further, gross inadequacy of price alone does not affect a contract of sale, except that
II. it may indicate a defect in the consent, or that the parties really intended a donation
or some other act or contract (Article 1470, Civil Code) and there is nothing in the
For petitioner, however, the above discussion may be purely academic. The burden of records at all to indicate any defect in Emilio Jocson's consent.
proof in showing that contracts lack consideration rests on he who alleged it. The
degree of proof becomes more stringent where the documents themselves show that Thirdly, any discussion as to the improbability of a sale between a father and his
the vendor acknowledged receipt of the price, and more so where the documents daughter is purely speculative which has no relevance to a contract where all the
were notarized, as in the case at bar. Upon consideration of the records of this case, essential requisites of consent, object and cause are clearly present.
We are of the opinion that petitioner has not sufficiently proven that the questioned
documents are without consideration. There is another ground relied upon by petitioner in assailing Exhibits 3 and 4, that the
properties subject matter therein are conjugal properties of Emilio Jocson and
Firstly, Moises Jocson's claim that Agustina Jocson-Vasquez had no other source of Alejandra Poblete. It is the position of petitioner that since the properties sold to
income other than what she derives from helping in the management of the family Agustina Jocson-Vasquez under Exhibit 3 were registered in the name of "Emilio
business (ricefields and ricemills), and which was insufficient to pay for the purchase Jocson, married to Alejandra Poblete," the certificates of title he presented as
price, was contradicted by his own witness, Isaac Bagnas, who testified that Agustina evidence (Exhibits "E', to "J', pp. 4-9, Records) were enough proof to show that the
and her husband were engaged in the buy and sell of palay and rice (p. 10, t.s.n., properties covered therein were acquired during the marriage of their parents, and,
January 14, 1975). Amazingly, petitioner himself and his wife testified that they did therefore, under Article 160 of the Civil Code, presumed to be conjugal properties.
not know whether or not Agustina was involved in some other business (p. 40, t.s.n.,
July 30, 1974; p. 36, t.s.n., May 24, 1974). Article 160 of the Civil Code provides that:

On the other hand, Agustina testified that she was engaged in the business of buying All property of the marriage is presumed to belong to the conjugal
and selling palay and rice even before her marriage to Ernesto Vasquez sometime in partnership, unless it be proved that it pertains exclusively to the
1948 and continued doing so thereafter (p. 4, t.s.n., March 15, 1976). Considering the husband or to the wife.
foregoing and the presumption that a contract is with a consideration (Article 1354,
Civil Code), it is clear that petitioner miserably failed to prove his allegation. In Cobb-Perez vs. Hon. Gregorio Lantin, No. L-22320, May 22, 1968, 23 SCRA 637, 644,
We held that:
Secondly, neither may the contract be declared void because of alleged inadequacy of
price. To begin with, there was no showing that the prices were grossly inadequate. In Anent their claim that the shares in question are conjugal assets, the
fact, the total purchase price paid by Agustina Jocson-Vasquez is above the total spouses Perez adduced not a modicum of evidence, although they
assessed value of the properties alleged by petitioner. In his Second Amended repeatedly invoked article 160 of the New Civil Code which provides
Complaint, petitioner alleged that the total assessed value of the properties that ... . As interpreted by this Court, the party who invokes this
presumption must first prove that the property in controversy was April 27, 1962, 4 SCRA 1143; Magallon v. Montejo, G.R. No. L-73733, December 16,
acquired during the marriage. In other words, proof of acquisition 1986, 146 SCRA 282). In other words, the import from the certificates of title is that
during the coverture is a condition sine qua non for the operation of Emilio Jocson is the owner of the properties, the same having been registered in his
the presumption in favor of conjugal ownership. Thus in Camia de name alone, and that he is married to Alejandra Poblete.
Reyes vs. Reyes de Ilano [62 Phil. 629, 639], it was held that
"according to law and jurisprudence, it is sufficient to prove that the We are not unmindful that in numerous cases We consistently held that registration
Property was acquired during the marriage in order that the same of the property in the name of only one spouse does not negate the possibility of it
may be deemed conjugal property." In the recent case of Maramba being conjugal (See Bucoy vs. Paulino, No. L-25775, April 26, 1968, 23 SCRA 248). But
vs. Lozano, et. al. [L-21533, June 29, 1967, 20 SCRA 474], this Court, this ruling is not inconsistent with the above pronouncement for in those cases there
thru Mr. Justice Makalintal, reiterated that "the presumption under was proof that the properties, though registered in the name of only one spouse, were
Article 160 of the Civil Code refers to property acquired during the indeed conjugal properties, or that they have been acquired during the marriage of
marriage," and then concluded that since "there is no showing as to the spouses, and therefore, presumed conjugal, without the adverse party having
when the property in question was acquired...the fact that the title presented proof to rebut the presumption (See Mendoza vs- Reyes, No. L-31618,
is in the wife's name alone is determinative." Similarly, in the case August 17, 1983, 124 SCRA 154).
at bar, since there is no evidence as to when the shares of stock
were acquired, the fact that they are registered in the name of the In the instant case, had petitioner, Moises Jocson, presented sufficient proof to show
husband alone is an indication that the shares belong exclusively to that the disputed properties were acquired during his parents' coverture. We would
said spouse.' have ruled that the properties, though registered in the name of Emilio Jocson alone,
are conjugal properties in view of the presumption under Article 160. There being no
This pronouncement was reiterated in the case of Ponce de Leon vs. Rehabilitation such proof, the condition sine qua non for the application of the presumption does
Finance Corporation, No. L-24571, December 18, 1970, 36 SCRA 289, and later in not exist. Necessarily, We rule that the properties under Exhibit 3 are the exclusive
Torela vs. Torela, No. 1,27843, October 11, 1979, 93 SCRA 391. properties of Emilio Jocson.

It is thus clear that before Moises Jocson may validly invoke the presumption under There being no showing also that the camarin and the two ricemills, which are the
Article 160 he must first present proof that the disputed properties were acquired subject of Exhibit 4, were conjugal properties of the spouses Emilio Jocson and
during the marriage of Emilio Jocson and Alejandra Poblete. The certificates of title, Alejandra Poblete, they should be considered, likewise, as the exclusive properties of
however, upon which petitioner rests his claim is insufficient. The fact that the Emilio Jocson, the burden of proof being on petitioner.
properties were registered in the name of "Emilio Jocson, married to Alejandra
Poblete" is no proof that the properties were acquired during the spouses' coverture. ACCORDINGLY, the petition is DISMISSED and the decision of the Court of Appeals is
Acquisition of title and registration thereof are two different acts. It is well settled that AFFIRMED.
registration does not confer title but merely confirms one already existing (See Torela
vs. Torela, supra). It may be that the properties under dispute were acquired by Emilio
SO ORDERED
Jocson when he was still a bachelor but were registered only after his marriage to
Alejandra Poblete, which explains why he was described in the certificates of title as
Republic of the Philippines
married to the latter.
SUPREME COURT
Manila
Contrary to petitioner's position, the certificates of title show, on their face, that the
properties were exclusively Emilio Jocson's, the registered owner. This is so because
FIRST DIVISION
the words "married to' preceding "Alejandra Poblete' are merely descriptive of the
civil status of Emilio Jocson Litam v. Rivera, 100 Phil. 354; Stuart v. Yatco, No. L-16467,
G.R. No. 74833 January 21, 1991
THOMAS C. CHEESMAN, petitioner, interest or right of ownership in the land; and (3) Estelita Padilla was a buyer in good
vs. faith.8
INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT and ESTELITA PADILLA, respondents.
During the pre-trial conference, the parties agreed upon certain facts which were
Estanislao L. Cesa, Jr. for petitioner. subsequently set out in a pre-trial Order dated October 22, 1981,9 as follows:
Benjamin I. Fernandez for private respondent.
1. Both parties recognize the existence of the Deed of Sale over the
NARVASA, J.: residential house located at No. 7 Granada St., Gordon Heights, Olongapo
City, which was acquired from Armando Altares on June 4, 1974 and sold by
This appeal concerns the attempt by an American citizen (petitioner Thomas defendant Criselda Cheesman to Estelita Padilla on July 12, 1981; and
Cheesman) to annul for lack of consent on his part the sale by his Filipino wife
(Criselda) of a residential lot and building to Estelita Padilla, also a Filipino. 2. That the transaction regarding the transfer of their property took place
during the existence of their marriage as the couple were married on
Thomas Cheesman and Criselda P. Cheesman were married on December 4, 1970 but December 4, 1970 and the questioned property was acquired sometime on
have been separated since February 15,1981.1 June 4,1974.

On June 4, 1974, a "Deed of Sale and Transfer of Possessory Rights" was executed by The action resulted in a judgment dated June 24, 1982, 10 declaring void ab initio the
Armando Altares conveying a parcel of unregistered land and the house thereon (at sale executed by Criselda Cheesman in favor of Estelita M. Padilla, and ordering the
No. 7 Neptune Street, Gordon Heights, Olongapo City) in favor of "Criselda P. delivery of the property to Thomas Cheesman as administrator of the conjugal
Cheesman, of legal age, Filipino citizen, married to Thomas Cheesman, and residing at partnership property, and the payment to him of P5,000.00 as attorney's fees and
Lot No. 1, Blk. 8, Filtration Road, Sta. Rita, Olongapo City . . ." 2 Thomas Cheesman, expenses of litigation.11
although aware of the deed, did not object to the transfer being made only to his
wife.3 The judgment was however set aside as regards Estelita Padilla on a petition for relief
filed by the latter, grounded on "fraud, mistake and/or excusable negligence" which
Thereafterand again with the knowledge of Thomas Cheesman and also without any had seriously impaired her right to present her case adequately. 12 "After the petition
protest by himtax declarations for the property purchased were issued in the name for relief from judgment was given due course," according to petitioner, "a new judge
only of Criselda Cheesman and Criselda assumed exclusive management and presided over the case."13
administration of said property, leasing it to tenants.4
Estelita Padilla filed a supplemental pleading on December 20, 1982 as her own
On July 1, 1981, Criselda Cheesman sold the property to Estelita M. Padilla, without answer to the complaint, and a motion for summary judgment on May 17, 1983.
the knowledge or consent of Thomas Cheesman.5 The deed described Criselda as Although there was initial opposition by Thomas Cheesman to the motion, the parties
being" . . . of legal age, married to an American citizen,. . ."6 ultimately agreed on the rendition by the court of a summary judgment after entering
into a stipulation of facts, at the hearing of the motion on June 21, 1983, the
Thirty days later, or on July 31, 1981, Thomas Cheesman brought suit in the Court of stipulation being of the following tenor:14
First Instance at Olongapo City against his wife, Criselda, and Estelita Padilla, praying
for the annulment of the sale on the ground that the transaction had been executed (1) that the property in question was bought during the existence of the
without his knowledge and consent.7 An answer was filed in the names of both marriage between the plaintiff and the defendant Criselda P. Cheesman;
defendants, alleging that (1) the property sold was paraphernal, having been
purchased by Criselda with funds exclusively belonging to her ("her own separate (2) that the property bought during the marriage was registered in the name
money"); (2) Thomas Cheesman, being an American, was disqualified to have any of Criselda Cheesman and that the Deed of Sale and Transfer of Possessory
Rights executed by the former owner-vendor Armando Altares in favor of against Criselda Cheesman, continued to be binding on her; and (4) of making findings
Criselda Cheesman made no mention of the plaintiff; of fact not supported by evidence. All of these contentions were found to be without
merit by the Appellate Tribunal which, on January 7, 1986, promulgated a decision
(3) that the property, subject of the proceedings, was sold by defendant (erroneously denominated, "Report")17affirming the "Summary Judgment complained
Criselda Cheesman in favor of the other defendant Estelita M. Padilla, of," "having found no reversible error" therein.
without the written consent of the plaintiff.
Once more, Thomas Cheesman availed of the remedy of appeal, this time to this Court.
Obviously upon the theory that no genuine issue existed any longer and there was Here, he argues that it was reversible error for the Intermediate Appellate Court
hence no need of a trial, the parties having in fact submitted, as also stipulated, their
respective memoranda each praying for a favorable verdict, the Trial Court15 rendered 1) to find that the presumption that the property in question is conjugal in accordance
a "Summary Judgment" dated August 3, 1982 declaring "the sale executed by . . . with Article 160 had been satisfactorily overcome by Estelita Padilla;18
Criselda Cheesman in favor of . . . Estelita Padilla to be valid," dismissing Thomas
Cheesman's complaint and ordering him "to immediately turn over the possession of 2) to rule that Estelita Padilla was a purchaser of said property in good faith, it
the house and lot subject of . . . (the) case to . . . Estelita Padilla . . ."16 appearing:

The Trial Court found that a) that the deed by which the property was conveyed to Criselda
Cheesman described her as "married to Thomas C. Cheesman," as
1) the evidence on record satisfactorily overcame the disputable well as the deed by which the property was later conveyed to
presumption in Article 160 of the Civil Codethat all property of the Estelita Padilla by Criselda Cheesman also described her as "married
marriage belongs to the conjugal partnership "unless it be proved that it to an American citizen," and both said descriptions had thus "placed
pertains exclusively to the husband or to the wife"and that the immovable Estelita on knowledge of the conjugal nature of the property;" and
in question was in truth Criselda's paraphernal property;
b) that furthermore, Estelita had admitted to stating in the deed by
2) that moreover, said legal presumption in Article 160 could not apply which she acquired the property a price much lower than that
"inasmuch as the husband-plaintiff is an American citizen and therefore actually paid "in order to avoid payment of more obligation to the
disqualified under the Constitution to acquire and own real properties; and government;"19

3) that the exercise by Criselda of exclusive acts of dominion with the 3) to decline to declare that the evidence did not warrant the grant of Estelita Padilla's
knowledge of her husband "had led . . . Estelita Padilla to believe that the petition for relief on the ground of "fraud, mistake and/or excusable negligence;" 20
properties were the exclusive properties of Criselda Cheesman and on the
faith of such a belief she bought the properties from her and for value," and 4) to hold that Thomas Cheesman had waived his objection to Estelita's petition for
therefore, Thomas Cheesman was, under Article 1473 of the Civil Code, relief by failing to appeal from the order granting the same;
estopped to impugn the transfer to Estelita Padilla.
5) to accord to Estelita Padilla a relief other than that she had specifically prayed for
Thomas Cheesman appealed to the Intermediate Appellate Court. There he assailed in her petition for relief, ie., "the restoration of the purchase price which Estelita
the Trial Court acts (1) of granting Estelita Padilla's petition for relief, and its resolution allegedly paid to Criselda;"21 and
of matters not subject of said petition; (2) of declaring valid the sale to Estelita Padilla
despite the lack of consent thereto by him, and the presumption of the conjugal 6) to fail to declare that Thomas Cheesman's citizenship is not a bar to his action to
character of the property in question pursuant to Article 160 of the Civil Code; (3) of recover the lot and house for the conjugal partnership.22
disregarding the judgment of June 24, 1982 which, not having been set aside as
Such conclusions as that (1) fraud, mistake or excusable negligence existed in the discussion of the other issues raised by him. As to them, it should suffice to restate
premises justifying relief to Estelita Padilla under Rule 38 of the Rules of Court, or (2) certain fundamental propositions.
that Criselda Cheesman had used money she had brought into her marriage to Thomas
Cheesman to purchase the lot and house in question, or (3) that Estelita Padilla An order of a Court of First Instance (now Regional Trial Court) granting a petition for
believed in good faith that Criselda Cheesman was the exclusive owner of the property relief under Rule 38 is interlocutory and is not appealable. Hence, the failure of the
that she (Estelita) intended to and did in fact buyderived from the evidence adduced party who opposed the petition to appeal from said order, or his participation in the
by the parties, the facts set out in the pleadings or otherwise appearing on record proceedings subsequently had, cannot be construed as a waiver of his objection to the
are conclusions or findings of fact. As distinguished from a question of lawwhich petition for relief so as to preclude his raising the same question on appeal from the
exists "when the doubt or difference arises as to what the law is on a certain state of judgment on the merits of the main case. Such a party need not repeat his objections
facts" "there is a question of fact when the doubt or difference arises as to the truth to the petition for relief, or perform any act thereafter (e.g., take formal exception) in
or the falsehood of alleged facts;"23 or when the "query necessarily invites calibration order to preserve his right to question the same eventually, on appeal, it being
of the whole evidence considering mainly the credibility of witnesses, existence and sufficient for this purpose that he has made of record "the action which he desires the
relevancy of specific surrounding circumstances, their relation; to each other and to court to take or his objection to the action of the court and his grounds therefor." 29
the whole and the probabilities of the situation." 24
Again, the prayer in a petition for relief from judgment under Rule 38 is not necessarily
Now, it is axiomatic that only questions of law, distinctly set forth, may be raised in a the same prayer in the petitioner's complaint, answer or other basic pleading. This
petition for the review oncertiorari of a decision of the Court of Appeals presented to should be obvious. Equally obvious is that once a petition for relief is granted and the
this Court.25 As everyone knows or ought to know, the appellate jurisdiction of this judgment subject thereof set aside, and further proceedings are thereafter had, the
Court is limited to reviewing errors of law, accepting as conclusive the factual findings Court in its judgment on the merits may properly grant the relief sought in the
of the lower court upon its own assessment of the evidence.26 The creation of the petitioner's basic pleadings, although different from that stated in his petition for
Court of Appeals was precisely intended to take away from the Supreme Court the relief.
work of examining the evidence, and confine its task to the determination of questions
which do not call for the reading and study of transcripts containing the testimony of Finally, the fundamental law prohibits the sale to aliens of residential land. Section 14,
witnesses.27 The rule of conclusiveness of the factual findings or conclusions of the Article XIV of the 1973 Constitution ordains that, "Save in cases of hereditary
Court of Appeals is, to be sure, subject to certain exceptions,28 none of which however succession, no private land shall be transferred or conveyed except to individuals,
obtains in the case at bar. corporations, or associations qualified to acquire or hold lands of the public
domain."30Petitioner Thomas Cheesman was, of course, charged with knowledge of
It is noteworthy that both the Trial Court and the Intermediate Appellate Court this prohibition. Thus, assuming that it was his intention that the lot in question be
reached the same conclusions on the three (3) factual matters above set forth, after purchased by him and his wife, he acquired no right whatever over the property by
assessment of the evidence and determination of the probative value thereof. Both virtue of that purchase; and in attempting to acquire a right or interest in land,
Courts found that the facts on record adequately proved fraud, mistake or excusable vicariously and clandestinely, he knowingly violated the Constitution; the sale as to
negligence by which Estelita Padilla's rights had been substantially impaired; that the him was null and void.31 In any event, he had and has no capacity or personality to
funds used by Criselda Cheesman was money she had earned and saved prior to her question the subsequent sale of the same property by his wife on the theory that in
marriage to Thomas Cheesman, and that Estelita Padilla did believe in good faith that so doing he is merely exercising the prerogative of a husband in respect of conjugal
Criselda Cheesman was the sole owner of the property in question. Consequently, property. To sustain such a theory would permit indirect controversion of the
these determinations of fact will not be here disturbed, this Court having been cited constitutional prohibition. If the property were to be declared conjugal, this would
to no reason for doing so. accord to the alien husband a not insubstantial interest and right over land, as he
would then have a decisive vote as to its transfer or disposition. This is a right that the
These considerations dispose of the first three (3) points that petitioner Cheesman Constitution does not permit him to have.
seeks to make in his appeal.1wphi1They also make unnecessary an extended
As already observed, the finding that his wife had used her own money to purchase Tomas Yumol for petitioners.
the property cannot, and will not, at this stage of the proceedings be reviewed and Mariano G. Bustos and Associates for respondent.
overturned. But even if it were a fact that said wife had used conjugal funds to make
the acquisition, the considerations just set out militate, on high constitutional REYES, J.B.L., J.:
grounds, against his recovering and holding the property so acquired or any part
thereof. And whether in such an event, he may recover from his wife any share of the The legitimate children and descendants of the late Marcelo Castillo, Sr. pray for the
money used for the purchase or charge her with unauthorized disposition or review and reversal of the decision of the Court of Appeals, in its Case CA G.R. No.
expenditure of conjugal funds is not now inquired into; that would be, in the premises, 19377-R, that affirmed the decision of the Court of First Instance of Bulacan, declaring
a purely academic exercise. An equally decisive consideration is that Estelita Padilla is that the fishpond in San Roque, Paombong, Bulacan (covered by TCT No. 9928 of the
a purchaser in good faith, both the Trial Court and the Appellate Court having found Registry of Deeds of said province), was the exclusive paraphernal property of
that Cheesman's own conduct had led her to believe the property to be exclusive respondent Macaria Pasco, surviving spouse of the deceased Marcelo Castillo, Sr., and
property of the latter's wife, freely disposable by her without his consent or dismissing the complaint for partition and accounting filed by petitioners in said Court
intervention. An innocent buyer for value, she is entitled to the protection of the law of First Instance.
in her purchase, particularly as against Cheesman, who would assert rights to the
property denied him by both letter and spirit of the Constitution itself.
The Court of Appeals found, and the petitioner-appellants do not dispute, that in
October 1931 Marcelo Castillo, Sr., being a widower, married Macaria Pasco, a widow
WHEREFORE, the appealed decision is AFFIRMED, with costs against petitioner. who had survived two previous husbands. Petitioners were children and grandchildren
(representing their deceased parents) of Marcelo Castillo, Sr. by his previous marriage.
SO ORDERED. On April 3, 1933, Marcelo Castillo, Sr. died, and his widow married her fourth husband,
Luis San Juan, on June 8, 1934.
Cruz, Gancayco, Grio-Aquino and Medialdea, JJ., concur.
On December 22, 1932, Gabriel and Purificacion Gonzales, as co-owners of the
litigated fishpond, executed a deed of sale (Exh. 1) conveying said property to the
spouses Marcelo Castillo and Macaria Pasco for the sum of P6,000.00 (although the
deed recited a higher amount), payable in three installments: P1,000 upon execution
of the deed (Exh. 1) ; P2,000 on January 25, 1933 without interest; and P3,000 within
one year thereafter, with 11% interest from February 1, 1933, but extendible for
Republic of the Philippines another year.
SUPREME COURT
Manila Against the contention of petitioners-appellants that the fishpond thus bought should
be considered conjugal for its having been acquired during coverture, the Court of
EN BANC Appeals declared it to be paraphernalia because it was purchased with exclusive funds
of the wife, Macaria Pasco. She was admittedly a woman of means even before she
G.R. No. L-16857 May 29, 1964 married Marcelo Castillo, Sr. and the latter's principal source of income was only his
P80 a month salary, as provincial treasurer (as found by the Court of First Instance),
besides two small residential lots and fishponds, which were encumbered and later
MARCELO CASTILLO, JR., FELICISIMO CASTILLO, ENCARNACION CASTILLO, AMELIA
transferred to his five children by his first wife and whom he was then supporting in
CASTILLO, JAIME CASTILLO, RONALDO CASTILLO, VICTORIA CASTILLO, LETICIA CINCO,
medical and high school. Actually, Marcelo Castillo, Sr. died without enough assets to
LEVI CINCO and DANIEL CINCO,petitioners,
pay his debts. .
vs.
MACARIA PASCO, respondent.
In point of fact, the Court of Appeals found that the initial payment of P1,000 for the The last clause in Article 1401 (par. 1) indicates that the circumstance of the sale of
fishpond now in litigation was made up of P600, that one of the vendors (Gabriel the fishpond in question being made by the original owners in favor of both spouses,
Gonzales) owed to appellee Pasco, and P400 in cash, which the latter paid out of the Marcelo Castillo, Sr. and Macaria Pasco, is indifferent for the determination of
proceeds of the sale of one of her nipa lands. The second installment of P2,000 whether the property should be deemed paraphernal or conjugal. As remarked by
appears to have been paid with the proceeds of the loan from Dr. Nicanor Jacinto, to Manresa in his Commentaries to the Civil Code, Vol. IX (5th Ed), p. 549, "la ley atiende
whom the fishpond was mortgaged by both spouses. Dr. Jacinto later assigned his no a la persona encuyo nombre o a favor del cual se realize la compra, sino a la
interest to Dr. Antonio Pasco. The last payment of P3,000 was derived from a loan procedenciadel dinero."
secured by a mortgage (Exh. 2) on 2 parcels of land assessed in the name of Macaria
Pasco, and one of which she had inherited from a former husband, Justo S. Pascual, As above-noted, the Court of Appeals determined that the initial payment of P1,000
while the other lot encumbered was assessed in her exclusive name. for the fishpond now disputed was made out of private funds of Macaria Pasco.
Appellants, however, argue that since there is no express finding that the P600 debt
It was also found by the Court of Appeals that upon the death of Marcelo Castillo, Sr., owed by Gabriel Gonzales came exclusively from private funds of Pasco, they should
the loan and mortgage in favor of Dr. Jacinto (later assigned by him to Dr. Antonio be presumed conjugal funds, in accordance with Article 1407 of the Civil Code of 1889.
Pasco) was still outstanding. Unable to collect the loan, Dr. Pasco foreclosed the The argument is untenable. Since the wife, under Article 1418, can not bind the
mortgaged, and the encumbered fishpond was sold to him; but the sale was conjugal partnership without the consent of the husband, her private transactions are
subsequently annulled. Later, on September 7, 1949, respondent Macaria Pasco presumed to be for her own account, and not for the account of the partnership. The
judicially consigned P12,300 on account of the mortgage debt and its interest, and finding of the Court of Appeals is that Gabriel Gonzales owed this particular
completed payment by a second consignation of P752.43 made on April 24, 1950. As indebtedness to Macaria Pasco alone, and in the absence of proof that the husband
the estate of Castillo had no assets adequate to pay off the claims against it, the Court authorized her to use community funds therefor, the appellate Court's finding can not
of Appeals concluded that the amounts consigned belonged to the widow Macaria be disturbed by us. Whether the evidence adverted to should be credited is for the
Pasco, respondent herein.1wph1.t Court of Appeals to decide.

It is not gain said that under the Spanish Civil Code of 1889, that was the applicable Appellants next assail the conclusion of the Court of Appeals that the other two
law in 1932, the property acquired for onerous consideration during the marriage was installments of the purchase price should be, like the first one, deemed to have been
deemed conjugal or separate property depending on the source of the funds paid with exclusive funds of the wife because the money was raised by loans
employed for its acquisition. Thus, Article 1396 of said Code provided: guaranteed by mortgage on paraphernalia property of the wife. The position thus
taken by appellants is meritorious, for the reason that the deeds show the loans to
ART. 1396. The following is separate property spouse have been made by Dr. Nicanor Jacinto, and by Gabriel and Purificacion Gonzales, to
both spouses Marcelo Castillo and Macaria Pasco, as joint borrowers. The loans thus
4. That bought with money belonging exclusively to the wife or to the became obligations of the conjugal partnership of both debtor spouses, and the
husband. money loaned is logically conjugal property. While the securing mortgage is on the
wife's paraphernalia the mortgage is a purely accessory obligation that the lenders
could, waive if they so chose, without affecting the principal debt which was owned
On the other hand, Article 1401, prescribed that:
by the conjugal partnership, and which the creditors could enforce exclusively against
the latter it they so desired.
ART. 1401. To the conjugal property belong:
In Palanca vs. Smith Bell & Co., 9 Phil. 131., this Court ruled as follows (cas cit. at p.
1. Property acquired for valuable consideration during the marriage at the
133,) .
expense of the common fund, whether the acquisition is made for the
partnership or for one of the spouses only.
This P14,000, borrowed by said Emiliano Boncan upon the credit of the de quienes precede el precio y en la proporcion entregada por cada cual. Si
property of his wife became conjugal property (par. 3, Art. 1401, Civil Code) pues marido y mujer compran una casa entregando el primero de su capital
and when that same was reinvented in the construction of a house, the house propio 10,000 pesetas, y la segunda 5,000, la casa pertenecera a losdos
became e conjugal property and was liable for the payment of the debts of conyuges pro indiviso, en la proportion de los terceras partes al marido y una
the husband (Art 1408, Civ. Code). tercera a la mujer. (Manresa. op. cit)

If money borrowed by the husband alone on the security of his wife's property is The payment by the widow, after her husband's death, of the mortgage debt due to
conjugal in character, a fortiorishould it be conjugal when borrowed by both spouses. Dr. Pasco, the assignee of the original mortgagee, Dr. Nicanor Jacinto, does not result
The reason obviously is that the loan becomes an obligation of the conjugal in increasing her share in the property in question but in creating a lien in her favor
partnership which is the one primarily bound for its repayment. over the undivided share of the conjugal partnership, for the repayment of the
amount she has advanced, should it be ultimately shown that the money thus
The case of Lim Queco vs. Cartagena, 71 Phil. 162, is clearly distinguishable from the delivered to the creditor was exclusively owned by her.
Palanca case in that in the Lim Queco case the wife alone borrowed the money from
"El Ahorro Insular" although she guaranteed repayment with a mortgage on her It follows from the foregoing that, as the fishpond was undivided property of the
parapherna executed with her husband's consent. Since the wife does not have the widow and the conjugal partnership with her late husband, the heirs of the latter,
management or representation of the conjugal partnership where the husband is appellants herein, were entitled to ask for partition thereof and liquidation of its
qualified therefor, the loan to her constituted a transaction that did not involve the proceeds. The ultimate interest of each party must be resolved after due hearing,
community, and the creditor could seek repayment exclusively from her properties. taking into account (a) the widow's one-sixth direct share; (b) her half of the
Logically, as this Court then held, the money loaned to the wife, as well as the property community property; (e) her successional rights to a part of the husband's share
acquired thereby, should be deemed to be the wife's exclusive property. pursuant to the governing law of succession when the husband died; and (d) the
widow's right to reimbursement for any amounts advanced by her in paying the
The analogy between the case now before us and the Palanca vs. Smith Bell case is mortgage debt as aforesaid. All these details must be settled after proper trial.
undeniable, and the Palanca ruling applies. We, therefore, find that the two
installments, totalling P5,000, of the price of the fishpond were paid with conjugal WHEREFORE, the dismissal of the original complaint is hereby revoked and set aside,
funds, unlike the first installment of P1,000 that was paid exclusively with money and the records are ordered remanded to the court of origin for further proceedings
belonging to the wife Macaria Pasco, appellee herein. conformable to this opinion.

As the litigated fishpond was purchased partly with paraphernal funds and partly with Bengzon, C.J., Bautista Angelo, Concepcion, Barrera, Paredes, Regala and Makalintal,
money of the conjugal partnership, justice requires that the property be held to JJ., concur.
belong to both patrimonies in common, in proportion to the contributions of each to Padilla, Labrador and Dizon, JJ., took no part.
the total purchase price of P6,000. An undivided one-sixth (1/6) should be deemed
paraphernalia and the remaining five-sixths (5/6) held property of the conjugal
partnership of spouses Marcelo Castillo and Macaria Pasco (9 Manresa, Com. al Codigo
Civil [5th Ed.], p. 549).

Puesto que la ley atiende no a la persona en cuyo nombre o a favor del cualse
realize la compra sino a la procedencia del dinero, considerando el hecho
como una verdadera substitution o conversion del dinero en otros objetos,
debemos deduce que cuando una finca por ejemplo, se compra con dinero
del marido y de la mujer, o de la mujer y de la Sociedad, pertenece a aquellos
HON. WILLELMO FORTUN, Judge, Court of First instance of Pangasinan, Branch I, and
CORAZON DAGUINES, respondents.

Fernandez Law Offices for petitioner.

Francisco Pulido for respondents

MELENCIO-HERRERA, J.:

Petition for Review on certiorari assailing the Decision, dated October 6, 1980, and the
Resolution on the Motion for Reconsideration, dated November 27, 1980, of the then
Court of First Instance of Pangasinan, Branch I, in Civil Case No. 15620 entitled
"Corazon DAGUINES vs. MERCEDES Calimlim-Canullas," upholding the sale of a parcel
of land in favor of DAGUINES but not of the conjugal house thereon'

The background facts may be summarized as follows: Petitioner MERCEDES Calimlim-


Canullas and FERNANDO Canullas were married on December 19, 1962. They begot
five children. They lived in a small house on the residential land in question with an
area of approximately 891 square meters, located at Bacabac, Bugallon, Pangasinan.
After FERNANDO's father died in 1965, FERNANDO inherited the land.

In 1978, FERNANDO abandoned his family and was living with private respondent
Corazon DAGUINES. During the pendency of this appeal, they were convicted of
concubinage in a judgment rendered on October 27, 1981 by the then Court of First
Instance of Pangasinan, Branch II, which judgment has become final.

On April 15, 1980, FERNANDO sold the subject property with the house thereon to
DAGUINES for the sum of P2,000.00. In the document of sale, FERNANDO described
Republic of the Philippines the house as "also inherited by me from my deceased parents."
SUPREME COURT
Manila Unable to take possession of the lot and house, DAGUINES initiated a complaint on
June 19, 1980 for quieting of title and damages against MERCEDES. The latter resisted
FIRST DIVISION and claimed that the house in dispute where she and her children were residing,
including the coconut trees on the land, were built and planted with conjugal funds
G.R. No. L-57499 June 22, 1984 and through her industry; that the sale of the land together with the house and
improvements to DAGUINES was null and void because they are conjugal properties
and she had not given her consent to the sale,
MERCEDES CALIMLIM- CANULLAS, petitioner,
vs.
In its original judgment, respondent Court principally declared DAGUINES "as the the conjugal partnership for the value of the lot, 1 which value would be reimbursed
lawful owner of the land in question as well as the one-half () of the house erected on at the liquidation of the conjugal partnership. 2
said land." Upon reconsideration prayed for by MERCEDES, however, respondent
Court resolved: In his commentary on the corresponding provision in the Spanish Civil Code (Art.
1404), Manresa stated:
WHEREFORE, the dispositive portion of the Decision of this Court,
promulgated on October 6, 1980, is hereby amended to read as El articulo cambia la doctrine; los edificios construidos durante el
follows: matrimonio en suelo propio de uno de los conjuges son gananciales,
abonandose el valor del suelo al conj uge a quien pertenezca.
(1) Declaring plaintiff as the true and lawful owner of the land in
question and the 10 coconut trees; It is true that in the case of Maramba vs. Lozano, 3 relied upon by respondent Judge,
it was held that the land belonging to one of the spouses, upon which the spouses
(2) Declaring as null and void the sale of the conjugal house to have built a house, becomes conjugal property only when the conjugal partnership is
plaintiff on April 15, 1980 (Exhibit A) including the 3 coconut trees liquidated and indemnity paid to the owner of the land. We believe that the better
and other crops planted during the conjugal relation between rule is that enunciated by Mr. Justice J.B.L. Reyes in Padilla vs. Paterno, 3 SCRA 678,
Fernando Canullas (vendor) and his legitimate wife, herein 691 (1961), where the following was explained:
defendant Mercedes Calimlim- Canullas;
As to the above properties, their conversion from paraphernal to
xxx xxx xxx conjugal assets should be deemed to retroact to the time the
conjugal buildings were first constructed thereon or at the very
The issues posed for resolution are (1) whether or not the construction of a conjugal latest, to the time immediately before the death of Narciso A. Padilla
house on the exclusive property of the husband ipso facto gave the land the character that ended the conjugal partnership. They can not be considered to
of conjugal property; and (2) whether or not the sale of the lot together with the house have become conjugal property only as of the time their values were
and improvements thereon was valid under the circumstances surrounding the paid to the estate of the widow Concepcion Paterno because by that
transaction. time the conjugal partnership no longer existed and it could not
acquire the ownership of said properties. The acquisition by the
The determination of the first issue revolves around the interpretation to be given to partnership of these properties was, under the 1943 decision,
the second paragraph of Article 158 of the Civil Code, which reads: subject to the suspensive condition that their values would be
reimbursed to the widow at the liquidation of the conjugal
partnership; once paid, the effects of the fulfillment of the condition
xxx xxx xxx
should be deemed to retroact to the date the obligation was
constituted (Art. 1187, New Civil Code) ...
Buildings constructed at the expense of the partnership during the
marriage on land belonging to one of the spouses also pertain to the
The foregoing premises considered, it follows that FERNANDO could not have
partnership, but the value of the land shall be reimbursed to the
alienated the house and lot to DAGUINES since MERCEDES had not given her consent
spouse who owns the same.
to said sale. 4
We hold that pursuant to the foregoing provision both the land and the building
Anent the second issue, we find that the contract of sale was null and void for being
belong to the conjugal partnership but the conjugal partnership is indebted to the
contrary to morals and public policy. The sale was made by a husband in favor of a
husband for the value of the land. The spouse owning the lot becomes a creditor of
concubine after he had abandoned his family and left the conjugal home where his
wife and children lived and from whence they derived their support. That sale was prohibitive policy to persons living together as husband and wife
subversive of the stability of the family, a basic social institution which public policy without benefit of nuptials. For it is not to be doubted that assent to
cherishes and protects. 5 such irregular connection for thirty years bespeaks greater influence
of one party over the other, so that the danger that the law seeks to
Article 1409 of the Civil Code states inter alia that: contracts whose cause, object, or avoid is correspondingly increased'. Moreover, as pointed out by
purpose is contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order, or public policy Ulpian (in his lib 32 ad Sabinum, fr. 1), "It would not be just that such
are void and inexistent from the very beginning. donations should subsist, lest the conditions of those who
incurred guilt should turn out to be better." So long as marriage
Article 1352 also provides that: "Contracts without cause, or with unlawful cause, remains the cornerstone of our family law, reason and morality alike
produce no effect whatsoever. The cause is unlawful if it is contrary to law, morals, demand that the disabilities attached to marriage should likewise
good customs, public order, or public policy." attach to concubinage (Emphasis supplied),

Additionally, the law emphatically prohibits the spouses from selling property to each WHEREFORE, the Decision of respondent Judge, dated October 6, 1980, and his
other subject to certain exceptions.6 Similarly, donations between spouses during Resolution of November 27, 1980 on petitioner's Motion for Reconsideration, are
marriage are prohibited. 7 And this is so because if transfers or con conveyances hereby set aside and the sale of the lot, house and improvements in question, is
between spouses were allowed during marriage, that would destroy the system of hereby declared null and void. No costs.
conjugal partnership, a basic policy in civil law. It was also designed to prevent the
exercise of undue influence by one spouse over the other,8 as well as to protect the SO ORDERED.
institution of marriage, which is the cornerstone of family law. The prohibitions apply
to a couple living as husband and wife without benefit of marriage, otherwise, "the
condition of those who incurred guilt would turn out to be better than those in legal
union." Those provisions are dictated by public interest and their criterion must be
imposed upon the wig of the parties. That was the ruling in Buenaventura vs.
Bautista, also penned by Justice JBL Reyes (CA) 50 O.G. 3679, and cited in Matabuena
vs. Cervantes. 9 We quote hereunder the pertinent dissertation on this point:

We reach a different conclusion. While Art. 133 of the Civil Code


considers as void a donation between the spouses during the
marriage, policy considerations of the most exigent character as
wen as the dictates of morality require that the same prohibition
should apply to a common-law relationship.

As announced in the outset of this opinion, a 1954 Court of Appeals Republic of the Philippines
decision, Buenaventura vs. Bautista, 50 OG 3679, interpreting a SUPREME COURT
similar provision of the old Civil Code speaks unequivocally. If the Manila
policy of the law is, in the language of the opinion of the then Justice
J.B.L. Reyes of that Court, 'to prohibit donations in favor of the other EN BANC
consort and his descendants because of fear of undue influence
and improper pressure upon the donor, a prejudice deeply rooted in G.R. No. L-14309 June 30, 1960
our ancient law, ..., then there is every reason to apply the same
CALTEX (PHILIPPINES) INC., petitioner, On February 3, 1950, Felisa Felias (herein respondent) filed the present action to
vs. declare herself exclusive owner of the two parcels in question; on January 4, 1955,
FELISA FELIAS, respondent. after hearing, the trial court rendered judgment as follows:

A.P. Deen and Eddy A. Deen for petitioner. Considering all the foregoing, the Court renders judgment and declares:
Leopoldo Picazo for respondent.
(1) The contract of sale with the right to repurchase (Exhibit C) the true
MONTEMAYOR, J.: intention of the parties, and Lot No. 107, now covered by transfer certificate
of title No. RT-65 (97) of the Register of Deeds of the Province of Agusan the
This is a petition for certiorari to review the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. exclusive property of the defendant Vicente Dysekco;
No. 14967-R, modifying that of the trial court by declaring plaintiff Felias exclusive
owner of Lot No. 107, Cadastral Survey of the City of Agusan, instead of Vicente (2) The sale at auction by the provincial sheriff of Agusan in favor of the
Dysekco; by affirming said decision in so far as it declared Caltex (Philippines) Inc., CALTEX of lot No. 107 null and void;
absolute owner of the coconut land described in paragraph 10 (b) of the amended
complaint. (3) The CALTEX as exclusive owner of the small parcel of coconut land located
at sitio Look, municipality of Nasipit, Agusan covered by tax declaration No.
The facts of the case as found by the Court of Appeals and which we adopt for 3602 (Exhibit 14, CALTEX); and
purposes of this review, are as follows: Lot No. 107 aforementioned was originally
owned by the spouses Juliano Felias and Eulalia Felion. On March 31, 1928, said (4) The complaint dismissed with costs against the plaintiff.
spouses donated said Lot No. 107 to their daughter, Felisa Felias, herein respondent,
as a result of which Original Certificate of Title No. 645 was cancelled and Transfer The register of deeds of Agusan is ordered to cancel transfer certificate of
Certificate of Title No. 97 was issued in lieu thereof, in favor of Felisa Felias, making title No. RT-63 (97) in the name of Felisa Felias married to Simeon Sawamoto
said lot her paraphernal property. and to issue in lieu thereof another transfer certificate of title in the name of
Vicente Dysekco upon payment of the required fees.
On March 26, 1941, the trial court (Court of First Instance of Cebu) rendered judgment
in Civil Case No. 1527, entitled Texas Company (Phil.,) Inc., plaintiff, vs. Simeon Plaintiff Felisa Felias as well as defendant Caltex (Philippines) Inc. appealed the
Sawamoto, defendant, (husband of respondent Felias) ordering the latter to pay foregoing judgment to the Court of Appeals which court rendered the decision sought
plaintiff the sum of P661.94, with legal interest from the date complaint was filed, plus to be reviewed, the dispositive portion of which reads:
attorney's fees equivalent to 10% of the award, and the costs. A writ of execution was
issued to the provincial sheriff who levied upon Lot No. 107, together with the
"In view of the foregoing, the judgment appealed from is hereby modified; and
improvements thereon described in paragraph II of the amended complaint and a
judgment is hereby rendered
small parcel of coconut land located in Look, Nasipit, Agusan, and on August 20, 1941,
sold them at public auction to the Texas Company, now petitioner herein Caltex
"1. Declaring that plaintiff is the owner of Lot No. 107 of the Cadastral Survey of
(Philippines) Inc. The corresponding certificate of sale was annotated on the back of
Nasipit; and ordering the Register of Deeds to cancel: entry No. 234 referring to the
Transfer Certificate of Title No. 97 on August 21, 1941. Upon the expiration of the one
sale with pacto de retro; entry No. 1951, notice of levy under attachment; entry No.
year period without judgment debtor Sawamoto making the redemption, on January
2050, notice of levy under execution; entry No. 2147, sheriff's certificate of sale; entry
25, 1947, the provincial sheriff executed in favor of Caltex (Philippines) Inc., a final
No. 114, sheriff's deed of sale in favor of Caltex (Phil.) Inc., dated January 28, 1947;
deed of sale which was duly recorded on the reconstituted Transfer Certificate of Title
entry No. 121, affidavit of consolidation of ownership, all appearing in the
No. RT-65 (97) on November 26, 1947.
memorandum of encumbrances at the back of Transfer Certificate of Title No. RT-65 ART. 158. ...
(97) of the land records of Agusan; and
Buildings constructed at the expense of partnership during the marriage on
"2. Declaring that Caltex (Phil.) Inc. is the exclusive owner of the small parcel of land belonging to one of the spouses, also pertain to the partnership, but the
coconut land located in sitio Look, municipality of Nasipit, Agusan, described in value of the land shall be reimbursed to the spouse who owns the same.,
paragraph X (b) of the amended complaint."
it automatically became conjugal when during the marriage, and with conjugal
Petitioner Caltex (Philippines) Inc. makes the following assignment of errors: partnership funds, a building was construed on it. However, the Court of Appeals fund
as a fact that at the time the building was constructed, the lot still belonged to the
ASSIGNMENT OF ERRORS parents of Felisa because the donation to her was not made until March 31, 1928,
whereas the building was constructed earlier, which building was assessed as early as
I. The Court of Appeals erred in failing to declare that even if lot No. 107 was September, 1927, at P12,000. Consequently, Article 1404 of the Old Civil Code is not
paraphernal, it became conjugal ipso facto upon construction of the conjugal applicable. The Court of Appeals itself said so, but nevertheless, it proceeded to
house thereon. assume that article 1404 was applicable, and proceeded to discuss the question thus:

II. The Court of Appeals erred in failing to declare that even if lot No. 107 is While it is true that the building was constructed by the spouses Felisa and
paraphernal, it is nevertheless subject to levy of execution in enforcing just Simeon Sawamoto on Lot No. 107 at a time when they were already married,
obligation of plaintiff's husband, Simeon Sawamoto. nevertheless, it is equally true that then Lot No. 107 did not yet belong to
Felisa Felias, one of the spouses that land was still the property of the
parents of Felisa Felias. It would seem therefore, that Article 1404 of the
III. The Court of Appeals erred by failing to declare that estoppel thru
Spanish Civil Code would not apply. That legal percept refers to a building
negligence and actuations bar the plaintiff from claiming ownership of lot No.
constructed `on land belonging to one of the spouses.' Rather, we would say
107 as against defendant CALTEX.
that the familiar rule of accessory following the principal should apply.
The only issues involved in this appeal is the status and ownership of Lot 107 of the
But conceding, for present purposes, that after the acquisition of the land by
cadastral survey of the City of Agusan at the time it was levied upon and later sold by
plaintiff, the matter of ownership of the land (on which the said building was
the Sheriff. As already stated, the Court of Appeals found that it had been donated to
erected) comes within the coverage of Article 1404 still the question arises:
Felisa Felias on March 31, 1928 by her parents, so that it became her paraphernal
As of what time should the land be considered the property of the spouse?
property. It was levied upon and sold by the Sheriff as conjugal property of the spouses
On this point, we have but to restate the jurisprudence established by
Felisa and Simeon on the theory that under Article 1404, paragraph 2, of the Old Civil
Supreme Tribunal of this country.
Code, which reads as follows:

We believe the assumption and the discussion to be profitless and unnecessary. For
ART. 1404. ...
purposes of this appeal, we shall decide the issue on the basis of the fact that the
building was construed when the lot belonged not to Felisa but her parents, in which
Buildings constructed during the marriage on the land belonging to one of
case, as the Court of Appeals itself observed, what was applicable was "the familiar
the spouse shall also belong to the partnership, but the value of the land shall
rule of accessory following the principal". In other words, when the lot was donated
be paid to the spouse owning the same.
to Felisa by her parents, as owners of the land on which the building was constructed,
the lot became her paraphernal property. The donation transmitted to her the rights
which legal provision was embodied in Article 158, paragraph 2, of the New Civil Code, of a landowner over a building constructed on it. Therefore at the time of the levy and
which reads thus: sale of the sheriff, Lot No. 107 did not belong to the conjugal partnership, but it was
paraphernal property of Felisa. As such, it was not answerable for the obligations of VICTOR JUANIZA, Heirs of Josefa P. Leus etc., et al., plaintiffs and appellees,
her husband1 which resulted in the judgment against him in favor of Caltex. It may be vs.
stated in this connection that as further found by the Court of Appeals, the building EUGENIO JOSE, THE ECONOMIC INSURANCE COMPANY, INC., and ROSALIA
constructed on Lot No. 107 was destroyed during the last war, so that "at the time the ARROYO, defendants and appellants.
Sheriff executed the final deed of sale in favor of Caltex (Phil.) Inc. on the 27th day of
January, 1947, that house which was included in both deeds was no longer in Victoriano O. Javier and Ricardo A. Fabros, Jr. for appellees.
existence."
Luis Viscocho and Francisco E. Rodrigo, Jr. for appellants.
In view of the foregoing, the appealed decision of the Court of Appeals is hereby
affirmed, though on another ground, with costs against petitioner. DE CASTRO, J.:

Paras, C.J., Bengzon, Bautista Angelo, Labrador, Concepcion, Reyes, J.B.L., Barrera, and This case was certified by the Court of Appeals to this Court on the ground that the
Gutierrez David, JJ.,concur. questions raised in the appeal of the decision of the Court of First Instance of Laguna
are purely questions of law.

Eugenio Jose was the registered owner and operator of the passenger jeepney
involved in an accident of collision with a freight train of the Philippine National
Railways that took place on November 23, 1969 which resulted in the death to seven
(7) and physical injuries to five (5) of its passengers. At the time of the accident,
Eugenio Jose was legally married to Socorro Ramos but had been cohabiting with
defendant-appellant, Rosalia Arroyo, for sixteen (16) years in a relationship akin to
that of husband and wife.

In the resulting cages for damages filed in the Court of First Instance of Laguna,
decision was rendered, the dispositive part of which reads as follows:

(4) In Civil Case No. SP-867 ordering defendants Eugenio Jose and
Rosalia Arroyo jointly and severally to pay plaintiff Victor Juaniza the
sum of P1,600.00 plus legal interest from date of complaint until
fully paid and costs of suit;
Republic of the Philippines
(5) In Civil Case No. SP-872, ordering defendants Eugenio Jose and
SUPREME COURT
Rosalia Arroyo jointly and severally to pay the respective heirs of the
Manila
deceased Josefa P. Leus, Fausto Retrita, Nestor del Rosario
Aonuevo and Arceli de la Cueva in the sum of P12,000.00 for the
FIRST DIVISION
life of each of said deceased, with legal interest from date of
complaint, and costs of suit. (pp. 47-48, Rello).
G.R. No. L-50127-28 March 30, 1979
Motion for reconsideration was filed by Rosalia Arroyo praying that the decision be Rosalia Arroyo, who is not the registered owner of the jeepney can neither be liable
reconsidered insofar as it condemns her to pay damages jointly and severally with her for damages caused by its operation. It is settled in our jurisprudence that only the
co-defendant, but was denied. The lower court based her liability on the provision of registered owner of a public service vehicle is responsible for damages that may arise
Article 144 of the Civil Code which reads: from consequences incident to its operation, or maybe caused to any of the
passengers therein. (De Peralta vs. Mangusang, L-18110, July 31, 1964, 11 SCRA 598;
When a man and woman driving together as husband and wife, but Tamayo vs. Aquino, L-12634 and L-12720, May 29, 1959; Roque vs. Malibay Transit, L-
they are not married, or their marriage is void from the beginning, 8561, November 18,1955; Montoya vs. Ignacio, L-5868, December 29, 1953).
the property acquired by either or both of them through their work
or industry or their wages and salaries shall be governed by the rules WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, Rosalia Arroyo is hereby declared free from any
on co-ownership. liability for damages and the appealed decision is hereby modified accordingly. No
costs.
Rosalia Arroyo then filed her appeal with the Court of Appeals which, as previously
stated, certified the same to Us, the question raised being purely legal as may be seen
from the lone assigned error as follows:

The lower court erred in holding defendant-appellant Rosalia Arroyo


liable 'for damages resulting from the death and physical injuries
suffered by the passengers' of the jeepney registered in the name
of Eugenio Jose, on the erroneous theory that Eugenio Jose and
Rosalia Arroyo, having lived together as husband and wife, without
the benefit of marriage, are co- owners of said jeepney. (p. 2,
Appellant's Brief).

The issues thus to be resolved are as follows: (1) whether or not Article 144 of the Civil
Code is applicable in a case where one of the parties in a common-law relationship is
incapacitated to marry, and (2) whether or not Rosalia who is not a registered owner
of the jeepney can be held jointly and severally liable for damages with the registered
owner of the same.

It has been consistently ruled by this Court that the co-ownership contemplated in
Article 144 of the Civil Code requires that the man and the woman living together must
not in any way be incapacitated to contract marriage. (Camporedondo vs. Aznar, L-
11483, February 4, 1958, 102 Phil. 1055, 1068; Osmea vs. Rodriguez, 54 OG 5526; Republic of the Philippines
Malajacan vs. Rubi, 42 OG 5576). Since Eugenio Jose is legally married to Socorro SUPREME COURT
Ramos, there is an impediment for him to contract marriage with Rosalia Arroyo. Manila
Under the aforecited provision of the Civil Code, Arroyo cannot be a co-owner of the
jeepney. The jeepney belongs to the conjugal partnership of Jose and his legal wife. THIRD DIVISION
There is therefore no basis for the liability of Arroyo for damages arising from the
death of, and physical injuries suffered by, the passengers of the jeepney which G.R. No. 89667 October 20, 1993
figured in the collision.
JOSEPHINE B. BELCODERO, petitioner, conveyed to Josephine for a P10,000.00 consideration, thereby completing for herself,
vs. along with her one-fourth (1/4) interest as the surviving child of Alayo, a full
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, et al., respondents. "ownership" of the property. The notice of extrajudicial partition was published on 04,
05 and 06 November 1970 in the Evening Post; the inheritance and estate taxes were
Jaime I. Infante and Joanes G. Caacbay for petitioners. paid; and a new Transfer Certificate of Title No. 198840 was issued on 06 June 1974
in the name of Josephine.
Lamberto C. Nanquil & Associates Law Office for private respondents.
On 30 October 1980, Juliana (deceased Alayo's real widow) and her three legitimate
VITUG, J.: children filed with the court a quo an action for reconveyance of the property. On the
basis of he above facts, the trial court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, and it ordered
that
This case involves the question of ownership over a piece of land acquired by a
husband while living with a paramour and after having deserted his lawful wife and
children. The property had been bought by the husband on installment basis prior to . . . Josephine Bosing executed a deed of reconveyance of the
the effectivity of the Civil Code of 1950 but the final deed, as well as the questioned property in question to the legal heirs of the deceased Alayo D.
conveyance by him to his common law spouse, has ensued during the latter Code's Bosing, and that both defendants pay, jointly and severally, actual
regime. Now, of course, we have to likewise take note of the new Family Code which damages by way of attorney's fees and expenses in litigation, TEN
took effect on 03 August 1988. THOUSAND (P10,000.00) PESOS as moral damages, pus TEN
THOUSAND (P10,000.00) PESOS exemplary damages to prevent
future frauds.
Let us begin by paraphrasing the factual findings of the appellate court below.

The defendants went to the Court of Appeals which affirmed the trial court's order for
The husband, Alayo D. Bosing, married Juliana Oday on 27 July 1927, with whom he
reconveyance but reversed the decision on the award for damages, thus
had three children, namely, Flora, Teresita, and Gaido. In 1946, he left the conjugal
home, and he forthwith started to live instead with Josefa Rivera with whom he later
begot one child, named Josephine Bosing, now Josephine Balcobero. WHEREFORE, the judgment appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED
insofar as defendant Josephine Bosing is ordered to execute a deed
of reconveyance of the property granting the same to the legal heirs
On 23 August 1949, Alayo purchased a parcel of land on installment basis from the
of the deceased Alayo D. Bosing, and REVERSED insofar as it awards
Magdalena Estate, Inc. In the deed, he indicated his civil status as, "married to Josefa
actual, moral and exemplary damages.1
R. Bosing," the common-law wife. In a letter, dated 06 October 1959, which he
addressed to Magdalena Estate, Inc., he authorized the latter to transfer the lot in the
name of his "wife Josefa R. Bosing." The final deed of sale was executed by Magdalena Hence, the instant petition for review2 submitting that
Estate, Inc., on 24 October 1959. A few days later, or on 09 November 1959, Transfer
Certificate of Title No. 48790 was issued in the name of "Josefa R. Bosing, . . . married 1. THE RESPONDENT COURT ERRED IN NOT HOLDING THAT THE
to Alayo Bosing, . . ." ACTION FOR RECONVEYANCE HAD LONG PRESCRIBED.

On 06 June 1958, Alayo married Josefa even while his prior marriage with Juliana was 2. THE RESPONDENT COURT ERRED IN FINDING THAT, THE ACTION
still subsisting. Alayo died on 11 march 1967. About three years later, or on 17 FOR RECONVEYANCE IS BASED UPON AN IMPLIED OR
September 1970, Josefa and Josephine executed a document of extrajudicial partition CONSTRUCTIVE TRUST.
and sale of the lot in question, which was there described as "conjugal property" of
Josefa and deceased Alayo. In this deed, Josefa's supposed one-half (1/2) interest as
surviving spouse of Alayo, as well as her one-fourth (1/4) interest as heir, was
3. THE RESPONDENT COURT ERRED IN NOT HOLDING THAT, THE As regards the property relation between common-law spouses, Article 144 of the
PROPERTY IN QUESTION BELONGS EXCLUSIVELY TO THE Civil Code merely codified the law established through judicial precedents under the
PETITIONERS. old code (Margaret Maxey vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. L-45870, 11 May 1984). In
both regimes, the co-ownership rule had more than once been repudiated when
4. THE RESPONDENT COURT ERRED IN NOT GRANTING either or both spouses suffered from an impediment to marry (Jeroniza vs. Jose, 89
PETITIONER'S MOTION FOR NEW TRIAL BASED ON NEWLY SCRA 306). The present provisions under Article 147 and Article 148 of the Family Code
DISCOVERED EVIDENCE, AND LIKEWISE ERRED IN HOLDING THAT did not much deviate from the old rules; in any case, its provisions cannot apply to this
EVEN IF A NEW TRIAL IS GRANTED THE SAME WOULD NOT SERVE A case without interdicting prior vested rights (Article 256, Family Code).
USEFUL PURPOSE.
It was at the time that 'the adjudication of ownership was made following Alayo's
We rule for affirmance. demise (not when Alayo merely allowed the property to be titled in Josefa's name
which clearly was not intended to be adversarial to Alayo's interest), that a
The first three issues are interrelated, and the same will thus be jointly discussed. constructive trust was deemed to have been created by operation of law under the
provisions of Article 1456 of the Civil Code.
Whether the property in question was acquired by Alayo in 1949 when an agreement
for its purchase on installment basis was entered into between him and Magdalena Article 1456. If the property is acquired through mistake or fraud,
Estate, Inc., or in 1959 when a deed of sale was finally executed by Magdalena Estate, the person obtaining it is, by force of law, considered a trustee of an
Inc., the legal results would be the same. The property remained as belonging to the implied trust for the benefit of the person from whom the property
conjugal partnership of Alayo and his legitimate wife Juliana. Under both the new Civil comes.
Code (Article 160) and the old Civil Code (Article 1407), "all property of the marriage
is presumed to belong to the conjugal partnership, unless it be proved that it pertains The applicable prescriptive period for an action seeking a reconveyance of the
exclusively to the husband or to the wife." This presumption has not been convincingly property by the beneficiaries thereof is ten (10) years (Article 1144, Civil Code).
rebutted. Ordinarily, that period starts from the establishment of the implied trust being the day
when the cause of action would be considered to have accrued (Article 1150, Civil
It cannot be seriously contended that, simply because the property was titled in the Code). Unfortunately for Josefa and Josephine, however, the property involved in this
name of Josefa at Alayo's request, she should thereby be deemed to be its owner. The case is a realty titled under the Torrens System. The prescriptive period is thus to be
property unquestionably was acquired by Alayo. Alayo's letter, dated 06 October counted from the time the transaction affecting the property is registered with the
1959, to Magdalena Estate, Inc., merely authorized the latter to have title to the corresponding issuance of a new certificate of title.3 Between the time Transfer of
property transferred to her name. More importantly, she implicitly recognized Alayo's Certificate of Title No. 198840 was issued on 06 June 1974, and the filing of the action
ownership when, three years after the death of Alayo, she and Josephine executed for the reconveyance of the property with the court a quo on 30 October 1980, barely
the deed of extrajudicial partition and sale in which she asserted a one-half (1/2) a period of six (6) years and four (4) months had elapsed. The case has accordingly
interest in the property in what may be described as her share in the "conjugal been initiated seasonably.
partnership" with Alayo, plus another one-fourth (1/4) interest as "surviving widow,"
the last one-fourth (1/4) going to Josephine as the issue of the deceased. Observe that The four-year prescriptive period, mentioned in passing by the petitioners, would have
the above adjudication would have exactly conformed with a partition in intestacy had had some value and relevance had the private respondents or their predecessor in
they been the sole and legitimate heirs of the decedent. interest been parties to the extrajudicial partition and sale. In that event, the latter's
action could only then be predicated on a vitiation of consent4 where the applicable
The appellate court below, given the above circumstances, certainly cannot be said to statutory limitation would be four years.5
have been without valid basis in concluding that the property really belonged to the
lawful conjugal partnership between Alayo and his true spouse Juliana.
The last issue raises the supposed error in the rejection of a new trial on the basis of WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from in the instant petition for review
newly discovered evidence. We concur with the resolution of the appellate court on certiorari is AFFIRMED.
below (on appellants' [petitioners herein] motion for reconsideration thereat), thus
SO ORDERED.
Appellants' prayer for a new trial based upon what they claim is
newly discovered evidence deserves scant consideration.

Appellant proposes to prove (1) that Josefa Bosing sold certain


property for P8,000.00 in 1948 and was therefore in a financial
position to make the payments to Magdalena Estate Inc. and (2) that
appellee Juliana Bosing got married in 1961 to one Burayos Ballit,
and thus, "forfeited" her right to the conjugal partnership.

The first ground is not meritorious. It is not newly discovered


evidence. As described in appellants' Motion the documents were
"not discovered or considered as necessary evidence during the trial
of the case below" by the former counsel; it is therefore more
properly considered as forgotten evidence, which the appellant
knew or should have known during the trial (Tesoro vs. Court of
Appeals, 54 SCRA 296; Republic vs. Vda. de Castelvi, 58 SCRA 336).
Moreover, assuming the sale is proven, it does not follow that the
proceeds were used to pay the lot in question; the payments were
made in installments, not in one lump sum.

Neither is the second ground deserving of merit. Assuming that the


marriage to Ballit in 1961 is duly proven, and that this provided a
cause for legal separation and consequent disqualification of the
guilty spouse to succeed to the husband's intestate estate under
Article 1002 of the Civil Code, the fact remains that no action for
legal separation was brought by the husband during his lifetime and
within the period provided by law. It is too late to raise the issue at
this time. Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Accordingly, assuming that the Motion for New Trial complies with Manila
the formal requisites for such motion (See Minister of Natural
Resources vs. Heirs of Orval Hughes, et al., G.R. No. 62662, prom. FIRST DIVISION
November 12, 1987), a question We don't find necessary to decide,
a new trial would not serve a useful purpose in altering the result of G.R. No. 122749 July 31, 1996
the questioned decision.
ANTONIO A. S. VALDEZ, petitioner, (3) The petitioner and the respondent are directed to start proceedings on
vs. the liquidation of their common properties as defined by Article 147 of the
REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 102, QUEZON CITY, and CONSUELO M. GOMEZ- Family Code, and to comply with the provisions of Articles 50, 51, and 52 of
VALDEZ, respondents. the same code, within thirty (30) days from notice of this decision.

VITUG, J.:p Let a copy of this decision be furnished the Local Civil Registrar of
Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, for proper recording in the registry of
The petition for new bewails, purely on the question of law, an alleged error marriages.2 (Emphasis ours.)
committed by the Regional Trial Court in Civil Case No. Q-92-12539. Petitioner avers
that the court a quo has failed to apply the correct law that should govern the Consuelo Gomez sought a clarification of that portion of the decision directing
disposition of a family dwelling in a situation where a marriage is declared void ab compliance with Articles 50, 51 and 52 of the Family Code. She asserted that the
initio because of psychological incapacity on the part of either or both parties in the Family Code contained no provisions on the procedure for the liquidation of common
contract. property in "unions without marriage." Parenthetically, during the hearing of the
motion, the children filed a joint affidavit expressing their desire to remain with their
The pertinent facts giving rise to this incident are, by large, not in dispute. father, Antonio Valdez, herein petitioner.

Antonio Valdez and Consuelo Gomez were married on 05 January 1971. Begotten In an order, dated 05 May 1995, the trial court made the following clarification:
during the marriage were five children. In a petition, dated 22 June 1992, Valdez
sought the declaration of nullity of the marriage pursuant to Article 36 of the Family Consequently, considering that Article 147 of the Family Code explicitly
code (docketed Civil Case No. Q-92-12539, Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch provides that the property acquired by both parties during their union, in the
102). After the hearing the parties following the joinder of issues, the trial court, 1 in absence of proof to the contrary, are presumed to have been obtained
its decision of 29 July 1994, granted the petition, viz: through the joint efforts of the parties and will be owned by them in equal
shares, plaintiff and defendant will own their "family home" and all their
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered as follows: properties for that matter in equal shares.

(1) The marriage of petitioner Antonio Valdez and respondent Consuelo In the liquidation and partition of properties owned in common by the
Gomez-Valdez is hereby declared null and void under Article 36 of the Family plaintiff and defendant, the provisions on ownership found in the Civil Code
Code on the ground of their mutual psychological incapacity to comply with shall apply.3 (Emphasis supplied.)
their essential marital obligations;
In addressing specifically the issue regarding the disposition of the family dwelling, the
(2) The three older children, Carlos Enrique III, Antonio Quintin and Angela trial court said:
Rosario shall choose which parent they would want to stay with.
Considering that this Court has already declared the marriage between
Stella Eloisa and Joaquin Pedro shall be placed in the custody of their mother, petitioner and respondent as null and void ab initio, pursuant to Art. 147, the
herein respondent Consuelo Gomez-Valdes. property regime of petitioner and respondent shall be governed by the rules
on ownership.
The petitioner and respondent shall have visitation rights over the children
who are in the custody of the other. The provisions of Articles 102 and 129 of the Family Code finds no application
since Article 102 refers to the procedure for the liquidation of the conjugal
partnership property and Article 129 refers to the procedure for the Art. 147. When a man and a woman who are capacitated to marry each other,
liquidation of the absolute community of property.4 live exclusively with each other as husband and wife without the benefit of
marriage or under a void marriage, their wages and salaries shall be owned
Petitioner moved for a reconsideration of the order. The motion was denied on 30 by them in equal shares and the property acquired by both of them through
October 1995. their work or industry shall be governed by the rules on co-ownership.

In his recourse to this Court, petitioner submits that Articles 50, 51 and 52 of the In the absence of proof to the contrary, properties acquired while they lived
Family Code should be held controlling: he argues that: together shall be presumed to have been obtained by their joint efforts, work
or industry, and shall be owned by them in equal shares. For purposes of this
I Article, a party who did not participate in the acquisition by the other party
of any property shall be deemed to have contributed jointly in the acquisition
thereof in the former's efforts consisted in the care and maintenance of the
Article 147 of the Family Code does not apply to cases where the parties are
family and of the household.
psychologically incapacitated.

Neither party can encumber or dispose by acts inter vivos of his or her share
II
in the property acquired during cohabitation and owned in common, without
the consent of the other, until after the termination of their cohabitation.
Articles 50, 51 and 52 in relation to Articles 102 and 129 of the Family Code
govern the disposition of the family dwelling in cases where a marriage is
When only one of the parties to a void marriage is in good faith, the share of
declared void ab initio, including a marriage declared void by reason of the
the party in bad faith in the ownership shall be forfeited in favor of their
psychological incapacity of the spouses.
common children. In case of default of or waiver by any or all of the common
children or their descendants, each vacant share shall belong to the innocent
III
party. In all cases, the forfeiture shall take place upon the termination of the
cohabitation.
Assuming arguendo that Article 147 applies to marriages declared void ab
initio on the ground of the psychological incapacity of a spouse, the same
This particular kind of co-ownership applies when a man and a woman, suffering no
may be read consistently with Article 129.
illegal impediment to marry each other, so exclusively live together as husband and
wife under a void marriage or without the benefit of marriage. The term "capacitated"
IV in the provision (in the first paragraph of the law) refers to the legal capacity of a party
to contract marriage, i.e., any "male or female of the age of eighteen years or upwards
It is necessary to determine the parent with whom majority of the children not under any of the impediments mentioned in Articles 37 and 38"7 of the Code.
wish to stay.5
Under this property regime, property acquired by both spouses through their work
The trial court correctly applied the law. In a void marriage, regardless of the cause and industry shall be governed by the rules on equal co-ownership. Any property
thereof, the property relations of the parties during the period of cohabitation is acquired during the union is prima facie presumed to have been obtained through
governed by the provisions of Article 147 or Article 148, such as the case may be, of their joint efforts. A party who did not participate in the acquisition of the property
the Family Code. Article 147 is a remake of Article 144 of the Civil Code as interpreted shall be considered as having contributed thereto jointly if said party's "efforts
and so applied in previous cases;6 it provides: consisted in the care and maintenance of the family household."8 Unlike the conjugal
partnership of gains, the fruits of the couple's separate property are not included in
the co-ownership.
Article 147 of the Family Code, in the substance and to the above extent, has clarified under Article 40 14 of the Code, i.e., the declaration of nullity of a subsequent marriage
Article 144 of the Civil Code; in addition, the law now expressly provides that contracted by a spouse of a prior void marriage before the latter is judicially declared
void. The latter is a special rule that somehow recognizes the philosophy and an old
(a) Neither party can dispose or encumber by act intervivos his or her share in co- doctrine that void marriages are inexistent from the very beginning and no judicial
ownership property, without consent of the other, during the period of cohabitation; decree is necessary to establish their nullity. In now requiring for purposes of
and remarriage, the declaration of nullity by final judgment of the previously contracted
void marriage, the present law aims to do away with any continuing uncertainty on
(b) In the case of a void marriage, any party in bad faith shall forfeit his or her share in the status of the second marriage. It is not then illogical for the provisions of Article
the co-ownership in favor of their common children; in default thereof or waiver by 43, in relation to Articles 41 15 and 42, 16 of the Family Code, on the effects of the
any or all of the common children, each vacant share shall belong to the respective termination of a subsequent marriage contracted during the subsistence of a previous
surviving descendants, or still in default thereof, to the innocent party. The forfeiture marriage to be made applicable pro hac vice. In all other cases, it is not to be assumed
shall take place upon the termination of the cohabitation 9 or declaration of nullity of that the law has also meant to have coincident property relations, on the one hand,
the marriage. 10 between spouses in valid and voidable marriages (before annulment) and, on the
other, between common-law spouses or spouses of void marriages, leaving to ordain,
on the latter case, the ordinary rules on co-ownership subject to the provisions of the
When the common-law spouses suffer from a legal impediment to marry or when they
Family Code on the "family home," i.e., the provisions found in Title V, Chapter 2, of
do not live exclusively with each other (as husband and wife), only the property
the Family Code, remain in force and effect regardless of the property regime of the
acquired by both of them through their actual joint contribution of money, property
spouses.
or industry shall be owned in common and in proportion to their respective
contributions. Such contributions and corresponding shares, however, are prima
facie presumed to be equal. The share of any party who is married to another shall WHEREFORE, the questioned orders, dated 05 May 1995 and 30 October 1995, of the
accrue to the absolute community or conjugal partnership, as the case may be, if so trial court are AFFIRMED. No costs.
existing under a valid marriage. If the party who has acted in bad faith is not validly
married to another, his or her share shall be forfeited in the manner already
heretofore expressed. 11

In deciding to take further cognizance of the issue on the settlement of the parties'
common property, the trial court acted neither imprudently nor precipitately; a court
which has jurisdiction to declare the marriage a nullity must be deemed likewise
clothed in authority to resolve incidental and consequential matters. Nor did it commit
a reversible error in ruling that petitioner and private respondent own the "family
home" and all their common property in equal shares, as well as in concluding that, in
the liquidation and partition of the property owned in common by them, the FIRST DIVISION
provisions on co-ownership under the Civil Code, not Articles 50, 51 and 52, in relation [G.R. No. 132529. February 2, 2001]
to Articles 102 and 129, 12 of the Family Code, should aptly prevail. The rules set up to SUSAN NICDAO CARIO, petitioner, vs. SUSAN YEE CARIO, respondent.
govern the liquidation of either the absolute community or the conjugal partnership
of gains, the property regimes recognized for valid and voidable marriages (in the
DECISION
latter case until the contract is annulled), are irrelevant to the liquidation of the co-
ownership that exists between common-law spouses. The first paragraph of Articles YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.:
50 of the Family Code, applying paragraphs (2), (3), (4) and 95) of Article 43, 13 relates
only, by its explicit terms, to voidable marriages and, exceptionally, to void marriages
The issue for resolution in the case at bar hinges on the validity of the two dated March 9, 1994, from the Local Civil Registrar of San Juan, Metro Manila, which
marriages contracted by the deceased SPO4 Santiago S. Cario, whose death benefits reads
is now the subject of the controversy between the two Susans whom he married.
This is to certify that this Office has no record of marriage license of the spouses
Before this Court is a petition for review on certiorari seeking to set aside the
SANTIAGO CARINO (sic) and SUSAN NICDAO, who are married in this municipality on
decision[1] of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 51263, which affirmed in toto the
June 20, 1969. Hence, we cannot issue as requested a true copy or transcription of
decision[2] of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 87, in Civil Case No. Q-
Marriage License number from the records of this archives.
93-18632.
During the lifetime of the late SPO4 Santiago S. Cario, he contracted two This certification is issued upon the request of Mrs. Susan Yee Cario for whatever legal
marriages, the first was on June 20, 1969, with petitioner Susan Nicdao Cario purpose it may serve.[6]
(hereafter referred to as Susan Nicdao), with whom he had two offsprings, namely,
Sahlee and Sandee Cario; and the second was on November 10, 1992, with respondent On August 28, 1995, the trial court ruled in favor of respondent, Susan Yee,
Susan Yee Cario (hereafter referred to as Susan Yee), with whom he had no children holding as follows:
in their almost ten year cohabitation starting way back in 1982.
In 1988, SPO4 Santiago S. Cario became ill and bedridden due to diabetes WHEREFORE, the defendant is hereby ordered to pay the plaintiff the sum
complicated by pulmonary tuberculosis. He passed away on November 23, 1992, of P73,000.00, half of the amount which was paid to her in the form of death benefits
under the care of Susan Yee, who spent for his medical and burial expenses. Both arising from the death of SPO4 Santiago S. Cario, plus attorneys fees in the amount
petitioner and respondent filed claims for monetary benefits and financial assistance of P5,000.00, and costs of suit.
pertaining to the deceased from various government agencies. Petitioner Susan
Nicdao was able to collect a total of P146,000.00 from MBAI, PCCUI, Commutation, IT IS SO ORDERED.[7]
NAPOLCOM, [and] Pag-ibig,[3] while respondent Susan Yee received a total
of P21,000.00 from GSIS Life, Burial (GSIS) and burial (SSS).[4] On appeal by petitioner to the Court of Appeals, the latter affirmed in toto the
decision of the trial court. Hence, the instant petition, contending that:
On December 14, 1993, respondent Susan Yee filed the instant case for
collection of sum of money against petitioner Susan Nicdao praying, inter alia, that I.
petitioner be ordered to return to her at least one-half of the one hundred forty-six
thousand pesos (P146,000.00) collectively denominated as death benefits which she THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN AFFIRMING THE
(petitioner) received from MBAI, PCCUI, Commutation, NAPOLCOM, [and] Pag-ibig. FINDINGS OF THE LOWER COURT THAT VDA. DE CONSUEGRA VS. GSIS IS
Despite service of summons, petitioner failed to file her answer, prompting the trial APPLICABLE TO THE CASE AT BAR.
court to declare her in default.
Respondent Susan Yee admitted that her marriage to the deceased took place II.
during the subsistence of, and without first obtaining a judicial declaration of nullity
of, the marriage between petitioner and the deceased. She, however, claimed that THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN APPLYING EQUITY IN
she had no knowledge of the previous marriage and that she became aware of it only THE INSTANT CASE INSTEAD OF THE CLEAR AND UNEQUIVOCAL MANDATE OF
at the funeral of the deceased, where she met petitioner who introduced herself as THE FAMILY CODE.
the wife of the deceased. To bolster her action for collection of sum of money,
respondent contended that the marriage of petitioner and the deceased is void ab III.
initio because the same was solemnized without the required marriage license. In
support thereof, respondent presented: 1) the marriage certificate of the deceased
and the petitioner which bears no marriage license number;[5] and 2) a certification
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN NOT FINDING THE Such being the case, the presumed validity of the marriage of petitioner and the
CASE OF VDA. DE CONSUEGRA VS GSIS TO HAVE BEEN MODIFIED, AMENDED deceased has been sufficiently overcome. It then became the burden of petitioner to
AND EVEN ABANDONED BY THE ENACTMENT OF THE FAMILY CODE.[8] prove that their marriage is valid and that they secured the required marriage
license. Although she was declared in default before the trial court, petitioner could
Under Article 40 of the Family Code, the absolute nullity of a previous marriage have squarely met the issue and explained the absence of a marriage license in her
may be invoked for purposes of remarriage on the basis solely of a final judgment pleadings before the Court of Appeals and this Court. But petitioner conveniently
declaring such previous marriage void. Meaning, where the absolute nullity of a avoided the issue and chose to refrain from pursuing an argument that will put her
previous marriage is sought to be invoked for purposes of contracting a second case in jeopardy. Hence, the presumed validity of their marriage cannot stand.
marriage, the sole basis acceptable in law, for said projected marriage to be free from
It is beyond cavil, therefore, that the marriage between petitioner Susan Nicdao
legal infirmity, is a final judgment declaring the previous marriage void.[9] However, for
and the deceased, having been solemnized without the necessary marriage license,
purposes other than remarriage, no judicial action is necessary to declare a marriage
and not being one of the marriages exempt from the marriage license requirement, is
an absolute nullity. For other purposes, such as but not limited to the determination
undoubtedly void ab initio.
of heirship, legitimacy or illegitimacy of a child, settlement of estate, dissolution of
property regime, or a criminal case for that matter, the court may pass upon the It does not follow from the foregoing disquisition, however, that since the
validity of marriage even after the death of the parties thereto, and even in a suit not marriage of petitioner and the deceased is declared void ab initio, the death benefits
directly instituted to question the validity of said marriage, so long as it is essential to under scrutiny would now be awarded to respondent Susan Yee. To reiterate, under
the determination of the case.[10] In such instances, evidence must be adduced, Article 40 of the Family Code, for purposes of remarriage, there must first be a prior
testimonial or documentary, to prove the existence of grounds rendering such a judicial declaration of the nullity of a previous marriage, though void, before a party
previous marriage an absolute nullity. These need not be limited solely to an earlier can enter into a second marriage, otherwise, the second marriage would also be void.
final judgment of a court declaring such previous marriage void.[11]
Accordingly, the declaration in the instant case of nullity of the previous marriage
It is clear therefore that the Court is clothed with sufficient authority to pass of the deceased and petitioner Susan Nicdao does not validate the second marriage
upon the validity of the two marriages in this case, as the same is essential to the of the deceased with respondent Susan Yee. The fact remains that their marriage was
determination of who is rightfully entitled to the subject death benefits of the solemnized without first obtaining a judicial decree declaring the marriage of
deceased. petitioner Susan Nicdao and the deceased void. Hence, the marriage of respondent
Susan Yee and the deceased is, likewise, void ab initio.
Under the Civil Code, which was the law in force when the marriage of petitioner
Susan Nicdao and the deceased was solemnized in 1969, a valid marriage license is a One of the effects of the declaration of nullity of marriage is the separation of
requisite of marriage,[12] and the absence thereof, subject to certain the property of the spouses according to the applicable property
exceptions,[13] renders the marriage void ab initio.[14] regime.[16] Considering that the two marriages are void ab initio, the applicable
property regime would not be absolute community or conjugal partnership of
In the case at bar, there is no question that the marriage of petitioner and the
property, but rather, be governed by the provisions of Articles 147 and 148 of the
deceased does not fall within the marriages exempt from the license requirement. A
Family Code on Property Regime of Unions Without Marriage.
marriage license, therefore, was indispensable to the validity of their marriage. This
notwithstanding, the records reveal that the marriage contract of petitioner and the Under Article 148 of the Family Code, which refers to the property regime of
deceased bears no marriage license number and, as certified by the Local Civil bigamous marriages, adulterous relationships, relationships in a state of concubine,
Registrar of San Juan, Metro Manila, their office has no record of such marriage relationships where both man and woman are married to other persons, multiple
license. In Republic v. Court of Appeals,[15] the Court held that such a certification is alliances of the same married man,[17] -
adequate to prove the non-issuance of a marriage license. Absent any circumstance
of suspicion, as in the present case, the certification issued by the local civil registrar ... [O]nly the properties acquired by both of the parties through their actual joint
enjoys probative value, he being the officer charged under the law to keep a record of contribution of money, property, or industry shall be owned by them in common
all data relative to the issuance of a marriage license. in proportion to their respective contributions ...
In this property regime, the properties acquired by the parties through their actual When only one of the parties to a void marriage is in good faith, the share of the party
joint contribution shall belong to the co-ownership. Wages and salaries earned by in bad faith in the co-ownership shall be forfeited in favor of their common children. In
each party belong to him or her exclusively. Then too, contributions in the form of care case of default of or waiver by any or all of the common children or their descendants,
of the home, children and household, or spiritual or moral inspiration, are excluded in each vacant share shall belong to the respective surviving descendants. In the absence
this regime.[18] of descendants, such share shall belong to the innocent party. In all cases, the
forfeiture shall take place upon termination of the cohabitation.
Considering that the marriage of respondent Susan Yee and the deceased is a
bigamous marriage, having been solemnized during the subsistence of a previous
In contrast to Article 148, under the foregoing article, wages and salaries earned
marriage then presumed to be valid (between petitioner and the deceased), the
by either party during the cohabitation shall be owned by the parties in equal shares
application of Article 148 is therefore in order.
and will be divided equally between them, even if only one party earned the wages
The disputed P146,000.00 from MBAI [AFP Mutual Benefit Association, Inc.], and the other did not contribute thereto.[19]Conformably, even if the disputed death
NAPOLCOM, Commutation, Pag-ibig, and PCCUI, are clearly renumerations, incentives benefits were earned by the deceased alone as a government employee, Article 147
and benefits from governmental agencies earned by the deceased as a police creates a co-ownership in respect thereto, entitling the petitioner to share one-half
officer. Unless respondent Susan Yee presents proof to the contrary, it could not be thereof. As there is no allegation of bad faith in the present case, both parties of the
said that she contributed money, property or industry in the acquisition of these first marriage are presumed to be in good faith. Thus, one-half of the subject death
monetary benefits. Hence, they are not owned in common by respondent and the benefits under scrutiny shall go to the petitioner as her share in the property regime,
deceased, but belong to the deceased alone and respondent has no right whatsoever and the other half pertaining to the deceased shall pass by, intestate succession, to
to claim the same. By intestate succession, the said death benefits of the deceased his legal heirs, namely, his children with Susan Nicdao.
shall pass to his legal heirs. And, respondent, not being the legal wife of the deceased
In affirming the decision of the trial court, the Court of Appeals relied on the case
is not one of them.
of Vda. de Consuegra v. Government Service Insurance System,[20] where the Court
As to the property regime of petitioner Susan Nicdao and the deceased, Article awarded one-half of the retirement benefits of the deceased to the first wife and the
147 of the Family Code governs. This article applies to unions of parties who are legally other half, to the second wife, holding that:
capacitated and not barred by any impediment to contract marriage, but whose
marriage is nonetheless void for other reasons, like the absence of a marriage ... [S]ince the defendants first marriage has not been dissolved or declared void the
license. Article 147 of the Family Code reads - conjugal partnership established by that marriage has not ceased. Nor has the first
wife lost or relinquished her status as putative heir of her husband under the new Civil
Art. 147. When a man and a woman who are capacitated to marry each other, live Code, entitled to share in his estate upon his death should she survive
exclusively with each other as husband and wife without the benefit of marriage or him. Consequently, whether as conjugal partner in a still subsisting marriage or as such
under a void marriage, their wages and salaries shall be owned by them in equal shares putative heir she has an interest in the husbands share in the property here in dispute....
and the property acquired by both of them through their work or industry shall be And with respect to the right of the second wife, this Court observed that although the
governed by the rules on co-ownership. second marriage can be presumed to be void ab initio as it was celebrated while the
first marriage was still subsisting, still there is need for judicial declaration of such
In the absence of proof to the contrary, properties acquired while they lived together nullity. And inasmuch as the conjugal partnership formed by the second marriage was
shall be presumed to have been obtained by their joint efforts, work or industry, and dissolved before judicial declaration of its nullity, [t]he only just and equitable solution
shall be owned by them in equal shares. For purposes of this Article, a party who did in this case would be to recognize the right of the second wife to her share of one-half
not participate in the acquisition by the other party of any property shall be deemed to in the property acquired by her and her husband, and consider the other half as
have contributed jointly in the acquisition thereof if the formers efforts consisted in the pertaining to the conjugal partnership of the first marriage.[21]
care and maintenance of the family and of the household.
It should be stressed, however, that the aforecited decision is premised on the
xxxxxxxxx rule which requires a prior and separate judicial declaration of nullity of marriage. This
is the reason why in the said case, the Court determined the rights of the parties in
accordance with their existing property regime.
In Domingo v. Court of Appeals,[22] however, the Court, construing Article 40 of
the Family Code, clarified that a prior and separate declaration of nullity of a marriage
is an all important condition precedent only for purposes of remarriage. That is, if a
party who is previously married wishes to contract a second marriage, he or she has
to obtain first a judicial decree declaring the first marriage void, before he or she could
contract said second marriage, otherwise the second marriage would be void. The
same rule applies even if the first marriage is patently void because the parties are not
free to determine for themselves the validity or invalidity or their marriage. However,
for purposes other than to remarry, like for filing a case for collection of sum of money
anchored on a marriage claimed to be valid, no prior and separate judicial declaration
of nullity is necessary. All that a party has to do is to present evidence, testimonial or
documentary, that would prove that the marriage from which his or her rights flow is
in fact valid. Thereupon, the court, if material to the determination of the issues
before it, will rule on the status of the marriage involved and proceed to determine
the rights of the parties in accordance with the applicable laws and
jurisprudence. Thus, in Nial v. Bayadog,[23] the Court explained:

[T]he court may pass upon the validity of marriage even in a suit not directly instituted
to question the same so long as it is essential to the determination of the case. This is
without prejudice to any issue that may arise in the case. When such need arises, a
final judgment of declaration of nullity is necessary even if the purpose is other than to
remarry. The clause on the basis of a final judgment declaring such previous marriage
void in Article 40 of the Family Code connoted that such final judgment need not be
obtained only for purpose of remarriage.

WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED, and the decision of the Court of Appeals Republic of the Philippines
in CA-G.R. CV No. 51263 which affirmed the decision of the Regional Trial Court of SUPREME COURT
Quezon City ordering petitioner to pay respondent the sum of P73,000.00 plus Manila
attorneys fees in the amount of P5,000.00, is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The complaint
in Civil Case No. Q-93-18632, is hereby DISMISSED. No pronouncement as to costs.
EN BANC
SO ORDERED.

G.R. No. L-28394 November 26, 1970


PEDRO GAYON, plaintiff-appellant, efforts for the amicable settlement of the case" before filing his complaint. She
vs. prayed, therefore, that the same be dismissed and that plaintiff be sentenced to pay
SILVESTRE GAYON and GENOVEVA DE GAYON, defendants-appellees. damages.

German M. Lopez for plaintiff-appellant. Soon later, she filed a motion to dismiss, reproducing substantially the averments
made in her answer and stressing that, in view of the death of Silvestre Gayon, there
Pedro R. Davila for defendants-appellees. is a "necessity of amending the complaint to suit the genuine facts on record."
Presently, or on September 16, 1967, the lower court issued the order appealed from,
CONCEPCION, C.J.: reading:

Appeal, taken by plaintiff Pedro Gayon, from an order of the Court of First Instance of Considering the motion to dismiss and it appearing from Exhibit "A"
Iloilo dismissing his complaint in Civil Case No. 7334 thereof. annexed to the complaint that Silvestre Gayon is the absolute owner
of the land in question, and considering the fact that Silvestre Gayon
is now dead and his wife Genoveva de Gayon has nothing to do with
The records show that on July 31, 1967, Pedro Gayon filed said complaint against the
the land subject of plaintiff's complaint, as prayed for, this case is
spouses Silvestre Gayon and Genoveva de Gayon, alleging substantially that, on
hereby dismissed, without pronouncement as to costs.1
October 1, 1952, said spouses executed a deed copy of which was attached to the
complaint, as Annex "A" whereby they sold to Pedro Gelera, for the sum of P500.00,
a parcel of unregistered land therein described, and located in the barrio of A reconsideration of this order having been denied, plaintiff interposed the present
Cabubugan, municipality of Guimbal, province of Iloilo, including the improvements appeal, which is well taken.
thereon, subject to redemption within five (5) years or not later than October 1, 1957;
that said right of redemption had not been exercised by Silvestre Gayon, Genoveva de Said order is manifestly erroneous and must be set aside. To begin with, it is not true
Gayon, or any of their heirs or successors, despite the expiration of the period that Mrs. Gayon "has nothing to do with the land subject of plaintiff's complaint." As
therefor; that said Pedro Gelera and his wife Estelita Damaso had, by virtue of a deed the widow of Silvestre Gayon, she is one of his compulsory heirs2and has, accordingly,
of sale copy of which was attached to the complaint, as Annex "B" dated March an interest in the property in question. Moreover, her own motion to dismiss indicated
21, 1961, sold the aforementioned land to plaintiff Pedro Gayon for the sum of merely "a necessity of amending the complaint," to the end that the other successors
P614.00; that plaintiff had, since 1961, introduced thereon improvements worth in interest of Silvestre Gayon, instead of the latter, be made parties in this case. In her
P1,000; that he had, moreover, fully paid the taxes on said property up to 1967; and opposition to the aforesaid motion for reconsideration of the plaintiff, Mrs. Gayon
that Articles 1606 and 1616 of our Civil Code require a judicial decree for the alleged, inter alia, that the "heirs cannot represent the dead defendant, unless there
consolidation of the title in and to a land acquired through a conditional sale, and, is a declaration of heirship." Inasmuch, however, as succession takes place, by
accordingly, praying that an order be issued in plaintiff's favor for the consolidation of operation of law, "from the moment of the death of the decedent" 3 and "(t)he
ownership in and to the aforementioned property. inheritance includes all the property, rights and obligations of a person which are not
extinguished by his death,"4 it follows that if his heirs were included as defendants in
In her answer to the complaint, Mrs. Gayon alleged that her husband, Silvestre Gayon, this case, they would be sued, not as "representatives" of the decedent, but as owners
died on January 6, 1954, long before the institution of this case; that Annex "A" to the of an aliquot interest in the property in question, even if the precise extent of their
complaint is fictitious, for the signature thereon purporting to be her signature is not interest may still be undetermined and they have derived it from the decent. Hence,
hers; that neither she nor her deceased husband had ever executed "any document they may be sued without a previous declaration of heirship, provided there is no
of whatever nature in plaintiff's favor"; that the complaint is malicious and had pending special proceeding for the settlement of the estate of the decedent.5
embarrassed her and her children; that the heirs of Silvestre Gayon had to "employ
the services of counsel for a fee of P500.00 and incurred expenses of at least P200.00"; As regards plaintiff's failure to seek a compromise, as an alleged obstacle to the
and that being a brother of the deceased Silvestre Gayon, plaintiff "did not exert present case, Art. 222 of our Civil Code provides:
No suit shall be filed or maintained between members of the same
family unless it should appear that earnest efforts toward a Family relations include those:
compromise have been made, but that the same have failed, subject
to the limitations in article 2035. 1. Between husband and wife;
2. Between parents and children;
It is noteworthy that the impediment arising from this provision applies to suits "filed 3. Among brothers and sisters, whether of the full or half-blood [Art. 150, Family Code]
or maintained between members of the same family." This phrase, "members of the
same family," should, however, be construed in the light of Art. 217 of the same Code, Article 151 of the Family Code must be construed strictly, it being an exception to the
pursuant to which: general rule. Hence, a sister-in-law or brother-in-law is not included in the
enumeration [Martinez v. Martinez, G.R. No. 162084, June 28, 2005].
Family relations shall include those:
The phrase members of the family must be construed in relation to Article 150 of
the Family Code, to wit: 1. Between husband and wife; 2. Between parents and
(1) Between husband and wife;
children; 3. Among other descendants and ascendants; 4. Among brothers and sisters,
whether of the full or half-blood [Martinez v. Martinez, G.R. No. 162084, June 28,
(2) Between parent and child;
2005].

(3) Among other ascendants and their descendants; Nephew or niece is also not included in the enumeration [Gayon vs. Gayon, G.R. No. L-
28394, November 26, 1970].
(4) Among brothers and sisters.
Collateral relatives who are not brothers and sisters are not included in term 'family
Mrs. Gayon is plaintiff's sister-in-law, whereas her children are his nephews and/or relations', hence, the requirement of earnest efforts toward conciliation does not
nieces. Inasmuch as none of them is included in the enumeration contained in said apply. [see Mendez vs. Bionson, G.R. No. L-32159, October 28, 1977]
Art. 217 which should be construed strictly, it being an exception to the general
rule and Silvestre Gayon must necessarily be excluded as party in the case at bar, it Earnest Efforts
follows that the same does not come within the purview of Art. 222, and plaintiff's
failure to seek a compromise before filing the complaint does not bar the same. No suit between members of the same family shall prosper unless it should appear
from the verified complaint or petition that earnest efforts toward a compromise have
WHEREFORE, the order appealed from is hereby set aside and the case remanded to been made, but that the same have failed. If it is shown that no such efforts were in
the lower court for the inclusion, as defendant or defendants therein, of the fact made, the same case must be dismissed.
administrator or executor of the estate of Silvestre Gayon, if any, in lieu of the
decedent, or, in the absence of such administrator or executor, of the heirs of the These rules shall not apply to cases which may not be the subject of compromise
deceased Silvestre Gayon, and for further proceedings, not inconsistent with this under the Civil Code [Art. 151, Family Code].
decision, with the costs of this instance against defendant-appellee, Genoveva de
Gayon. It is so ordered. The requirement under Article 151 of the Family Code is applicable only in cases which
are exclusively between or among members of the same family. It necessarily follows
that the same may be invoked only by a party who is a member of that same
family. [Hiyas Savings and Loan Bank vs. Acua, G.R. No. 154132, August 31, 2006].
Suit Between Family Members; Earnest Efforts Toward Compromise (Article 150 To
151, Family Code)
Suit between "members of the family"
A partys failure to comply with Article 151 of the Family Code before filing a complaint
against a family member would render such complaint premature [Martinez v.
Martinez, G.R. No. 162084, June 28, 2005].
Republic of the Philippines
A dismissal is warranted only if there is a failure to comply with a condition precedent. SUPREME COURT
A mere failure to allegecompliance with a condition precedent does not warrant a Manila
dismissal. Further, in a habeas corpus proceeding involving the welfare and custody of
a child of tender age, the paramount concern is to resolve immediately the issue of THIRD DIVISION
who has legal custody of the child. Technicalities should not stand in the way of giving
such child of tender age full protection. [Tribiana vs. Tribiana, G.R. No. 137359,
G.R. No. 85044 June 3, 1992
September 13, 2004]
MACARIO TAMARGO, CELSO TAMARGO and AURELIA TAMARGO, petitioners,
The absence of the verification required in [Article 151] does not affect the jurisdiction
vs.
of the court over the subject matter of the complaint. The verification is merely a
HON. COURT OF APPEALS, THE HON. ARISTON L. RUBIO, RTC Judge, Branch 20, Vigan,
formal requirement intended to secure an assurance that matters which are alleged
Ilocos Sur; VICTOR BUNDOC; and CLARA BUNDOC, respondents.
are true and correct. If the courts doubted the veracity of the allegations regarding
efforts made to settle the case among members of the same family, it could simply
have ordered petitioners to verify them [Hontiveros vs. RTC, G.R. No. 125465, June 29, FELICIANO, J.:
1999].
On 20 October 1982, Adelberto Bundoc, then a minor of 10 years of age, shot Jennifer
Cases which may not be the subject of compromise Tamargo with an air rifle causing injuries which resulted in her death. Accordingly, a
civil complaint for damages was filed with the Regional Trial Court, Branch 20, Vigan,
No compromise upon the following questions shall be valid: Ilocos Sur, docketed as Civil Case No. 3457-V, by petitioner Macario Tamargo,
Jennifer's adopting parent, and petitioner spouses Celso and Aurelia Tamargo,
1. The civil status of persons; Jennifer's natural parents against respondent spouses Victor and Clara Bundoc,
2. The validity of a marriage or a legal separation; Adelberto's natural parents with whom he was living at the time of the tragic incident.
3. Any ground for legal separation; In addition to this case for damages, a criminal information or Homicide through
4. Future support; Reckless Imprudence was filed [Criminal Case No. 1722-V] against Adelberto Bundoc.
5. The jurisdiction of courts; Adelberto, however, was acquitted and exempted from criminal liability on the ground
6. Future legitime. that he bad acted without discernment.

It is true that in order to claim support, filiation and/or paternity must first be shown Prior to the incident, or on 10 December 1981, the spouses Sabas and Felisa Rapisura
between the claimant and the parent. However, paternity and filiation or the lack of had filed a petition to adopt the minor Adelberto Bundoc in Special Proceedings No.
the same is a relationship that must be judicially established and it is for the court to 0373-T before the then Court of First Instance of Ilocos Sur. This petition for adoption
declare its existence or absence. It cannot be left to the will or agreement of the was grunted on, 18 November 1982, that is, after Adelberto had shot and killed
parties [De Asis vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 127578, February 15, 1999]. Jennifer.

Furthermore, the right to support cannot be waived or transferred to third parties In their Answer, respondent spouses Bundoc, Adelberto's natural parents, reciting the
and future support cannot be the subject of compromise [De Asis vs. Court of Appeals, result of the foregoing petition for adoption, claimed that not they, but rather the
G.R. No. 127578, February 15, 1999]. adopting parents, namely the spouses Sabas and Felisa Rapisura, were indispensable
parties to the action since parental authority had shifted to the adopting parents from 1. It will be recalled that, petitioners' motion (and supplemental motion) for
the moment the successful petition for adoption was filed. reconsideration filed before the trial court, not having complied with the
requirements of Section 13, Rule 41, and Section 4, Rule 15, of the Revised Rules of
Petitioners in their Reply contended that since Adelberto Bundoc was then actually Court, were considered pro forma and hence did not interrupt and suspend the
living with his natural parents, parental authority had not ceased nor been reglementary period to appeal: the trial court held that the motions, not having
relinquished by the mere filing and granting of a petition for adoption. contained a notice of time and place of hearing, had become useless pieces of paper
which did not interrupt the reglementary period. 1 As in fact repeatedly held by this
The trial court on 3 December 1987 dismissed petitioners' complaint, ruling that Court, what is mandatory is the service of the motion on the opposing counsel
respondent natural parents of Adelberto indeed were not indispensable parties to the indicating the time and place of hearing. 2
action.
In view, however, of the nature of the issue raised in the instant. Petition, and in order
Petitioners received a copy of the trial court's Decision on 7 December 1987. Within that substantial justice may be served, the Court, invoking its right to suspend the
the 15-day reglementary period, or on 14 December 1987, petitioners filed a motion application of technical rules to prevent manifest injustice, elects to treat the notice
for reconsideration followed by a supplemental motion for reconsideration on 15 of appeal as having been seasonably filed before the trial court, and the motion (and
January 1988. It appearing, however, that the motions failed to comply with Sections supplemental motion) for reconsideration filed by petitioner in the trial court as
4 and 5 of Rule 15 of the Revised Rules of Court that notice of the motion shall be having interrupted the reglementary period for appeal. As the Court held in Gregorio
given to all parties concerned at least three (3) days before the hearing of said motion; v. Court of Appeals: 3
and that said notice shall state the time and place of hearing both motions were
denied by the trial court in an Order dated 18 April 1988. On 28 April 1988, petitioners Dismissal of appeal; purely on technical grounds is frowned upon
filed a notice of appeal. In its Order dated 6 June 1988, the trial court dismissed the where the policy of the courts is to encourage hearings of appeal on
notice at appeal, this time ruling that the notice had been filed beyond the 15-day their merits. The rules of procedure ought not be applied in a very
reglementary period ending 22 December 1987. rigid technical sense, rules of procedure are used only to help secure
not override, substantial justice. if d technical and rigid enforcement
Petitioners went to the Court of Appeals on a petition of the rules is made their aim would be defeated. 4
for mandamus and certiorari questioning the trial court's Decision dated 3 December
1987 and the Orders dated 18 April 1988 and 6 June 1988, The Court of Appeals 2. It is not disputed that Adelberto Bundoc's voluntary act of shooting Jennifer
dismissed the petition, ruling that petitioners had lost their right to appeal. Tamargo with an air rifle gave rise to a cause of action on quasi-delict against him. As
Article 2176 of the Civil Code provides:
In the present Petition for Review, petitioners once again contend that respondent
spouses Bundoc are the indispensable parties to the action for damages caused by the Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another, there being
acts of their minor child, Adelberto Bundoc. Resolution of this Petition hinges on the fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the damage done. Such fault
following issues: (1) whether or not petitioners, notwithstanding loss of their right to or negligence, if there is no pre-existing contractual relation
appeal, may still file the instant Petition; conversely, whether the Court may still take between the parties, is called a quasi-delict . . .
cognizance of the case even through petitioners' appeal had been filed out of time;
and (2) whether or not the effects of adoption, insofar as parental authority is Upon the other hand, the law imposes civil liability upon the father and, in case of his
concerned may be given retroactive effect so as to make the adopting parents the death or incapacity, the mother, for any damages that may be caused by a minor
indispensable parties in a damage case filed against their adopted child, for acts child who lives with them. Article 2180 of the Civil Code reads:
committed by the latter, when actual custody was yet lodged with the biological
parents.
The obligation imposed by article 2176 is demandable not only for persons who, by reasons of their status, occupy a position of
one's own acts or omissions, but also for those of persons for whom dependency with respect to the person made liable for their
one is responsible. conduct. 7 (Emphasis Supplied)

The father and, in case of his death or incapacity, the mother, are The civil liability imposed upon parents for the torts of their minor children
responsible for the damages caused by the minor children who live living with them, may be seen to be based upon the parental authority vested
in their company. by the Civil Code upon such parents. The civil law assumes that when an
unemancipated child living with its parents commits a tortious acts, the
xxx xxx xxx parents were negligent in the performance of their legal and natural duty
closely to supervise the child who is in their custody and control. Parental
The responsibility treated of in this Article shall cease when the liability is, in other words, anchored upon parental authority coupled with
person herein mentioned prove that they observed all the diligence presumed parental dereliction in the discharge of the duties accompanying
of a good father of a family to prevent damage. (Emphasis supplied) such authority. The parental dereliction is, of course, only presumed and the
presumption can be overtuned under Article 2180 of the Civil Code by proof
that the parents had exercised all the diligence of a good father of a family to
This principle of parental liability is a species of what is frequently designated as
prevent the damage.
vicarious liability, or the doctrine of "imputed negligence" under Anglo-American tort
law, where a person is not only liable for torts committed by himself, but also for torts
committed by others with whom he has a certain relationship and for whom he is In the instant case, the shooting of Jennifer by Adelberto with an air rifle occured when
responsible. Thus, parental liability is made a natural or logical consequence of the parental authority was still lodged in respondent Bundoc spouses, the natural parents
duties and responsibilities of parents their parental authority which includes the of the minor Adelberto. It would thus follow that the natural parents who had then
instructing, controlling and disciplining of the child. 5 The basis for the doctrine of actual custody of the minor Adelberto, are the indispensable parties to the suit for
vicarious liability was explained by the Court in Cangco v. Manila Railroad Co. 6 in the damages.
following terms:
The natural parents of Adelberto, however, stoutly maintain that because a decree of
With respect to extra-contractual obligation arising from adoption was issued by the adoption court in favor of the Rapisura spouses, parental
negligence, whether of act or omission, it is competent for the authority was vested in the latter as adopting parents as of the time of the filing of the
legislature to elect and our Legislature has so elected to limit petition for adoption that is, before Adelberto had shot Jennifer which an air rifle. The
such liability to cases in which the person upon whom such an Bundoc spouses contend that they were therefore free of any parental responsibility
obligation is imposed is morally culpable or, on the contrary, for for Adelberto's allegedly tortious conduct.
reasons of public policy. to extend that liability, without regard to
the lack of moral culpability, so as to include responsibility for the Respondent Bundoc spouses rely on Article 36 of the Child and Youth Welfare
negligence of those persons whose acts or omissions are imputable, Code 8 which reads as follows:
by a legal fiction, to others who are in a position to exercise an
absolute or limited control over them. The legislature which adopted Art. 36. Decree of Adoption. If, after considering the report of the
our Civil Code has elected to limit extra-contractual liability with Department of Social Welfare or duly licensed child placement
certain well-defined exceptions to cases in which moral agency and the evidence submitted before it, the court is satisfied
culpability can be directly imputed to the persons to be charged. This that the petitioner is qualified to maintain, care for, and educate the
moral responsibility may consist in having failed to exercise due care child, that the trial custody period has been completed, and that the
in one's own acts, or in having failed to exercise due care in the best interests of the child will be promoted by the adoption, a
selection and control of one's agent or servants, or in the control of decree of adoption shall be entered, which shall be effective he date
the original petition was filed. The decree shall state the name by We do not believe that parental authority is properly regarded as having been
which the child is thenceforth to be known. (Emphasis supplied) retroactively transferred to and vested in the adopting parents, the Rapisura spouses,
at the time the air rifle shooting happened. We do not consider that retroactive effect
The Bundoc spouses further argue that the above Article 36 should be read may be giver to the decree of adoption so as to impose a liability upon the adopting
in relation to Article 39 of the same Code: parents accruing at a time when adopting parents had no actual or physically custody
over the adopted child. Retroactive affect may perhaps be given to the granting of the
Art. 39. Effect of Adoption. The adoption shall: petition for adoption where such is essential to permit the accrual of some benefit or
advantage in favor of the adopted child. In the instant case, however, to hold that
parental authority had been retroactively lodged in the Rapisura spouses so as to
xxx xxx xxx
burden them with liability for a tortious act that they could not have foreseen and
which they could not have prevented (since they were at the time in the United States
(2) Dissolve the authority vested in the natural parents, except
and had no physical custody over the child Adelberto) would be unfair and
where the adopter is the spouse of the surviving natural parent;
unconscionable. Such a result, moreover, would be inconsistent with the philosophical
and policy basis underlying the doctrine of vicarious liability. Put a little differently, no
xxx xxx xxx presumption of parental dereliction on the part of the adopting parents, the Rapisura
spouses, could have arisen since Adelberto was not in fact subject to their control at
and urge that their Parental authority must be deemed to have been dissolved as of the time the tort was committed.
the time the Petition for adoption was filed.
Article 35 of the Child and Youth Welfare Code fortifies the conclusion reached above.
The Court is not persuaded. As earlier noted, under the Civil Code, the basis of parental Article 35 provides as follows:
liability for the torts of a minor child is the relationship existing between the parents
and the minor child living with them and over whom, the law presumes, the parents Art. 35. Trial Custody. No petition for adoption shall be finally
exercise supervision and control. Article 58 of the Child and Youth Welfare Code, re- granted unless and until the adopting parents are given by the
enacted this rule: courts a supervised trial custody period of at least six months to
assess their adjustment and emotional readiness for the legal
Article 58 Torts Parents and guardians are responsible for the union. During the period of trial custody, parental authority shall be
damage caused by the child under their parental authority in vested in the adopting parents. (Emphasis supplied)
accordance with the civil Code. (Emphasis supplied)
Under the above Article 35, parental authority is provisionally vested in the adopting
Article 221 of the Family Code of the Philippines 9 has similarly insisted upon the parents during the period of trial custody, i.e., before the issuance of a decree of
requisite that the child, doer of the tortious act, shall have beer in the actual custody adoption, precisely because the adopting parents are given actual custody of the child
of the parents sought to be held liable for the ensuing damage: during such trial period. In the instant case, the trial custody period either had not yet
begun or bad already been completed at the time of the air rifle shooting; in any case,
Art. 221. Parents and other persons exercising parental authority actual custody of Adelberto was then with his natural parents, not the adopting
shall be civilly liable for the injuries and damages caused by the acts parents.
or omissions of their unemancipated children living in their
companyand under their parental authority subject to the Accordingly, we conclude that respondent Bundoc spouses, Adelberto's natural
appropriate defenses provided by law. (Emphasis supplied) parents, were indispensable parties to the suit for damages brought by petitioners,
and that the dismissal by the trial court of petitioners' complaint, the indispensable
parties being already before the court, constituted grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Petition for Review is hereby GRANTED DUE
COURSE and the Decision of the Court of Appeals dated 6 September 1988, in C.A.-
G.R. No. SP-15016 is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Petitioners' complaint filed
before the trial court is hereby REINSTATED and this case is REMANDED to that court
for further proceedings consistent with this Decision. Costs against respondent
Bundoc spouses. This Decision is immediately executory.

SO ORDERED.

Gutierrez, Jr., Bidin, Davide, Jr. and Romero, concur.

1. Republic Act No. 8552 (Domestic Adoption Act of 1998), February 25, 1998 the
latest law on adoption, the domestic adoption act governs adoption in the Philippines
and repeals or modifies any law inconsistent with it.

2. Republic Act No. 8043 (Inter-Country Adoption Act of 1995), June 7, 1995 the
adoption rules governing adoption of residents among countries, this is a special law
and prior laws inconsistent to it are repealed or modified accordingly.

3. Generally, Executive Order No. 209 (Family Code), August 3, 1988 the Family Code
contains the general provisions on adoption and its provisions are applicable in so far
as they are consistent with the abovementioned laws.

a. Adoption is governed by the law at the time it is made As long as the petition for
adoption was sufficient in form and substance in accordance with the law in
governance at the time it was filed, the court acquires jurisdiction and retains it until
it fully disposes of the case. To repeat, the jurisdiction of the court is determined by
the statute in force at the time of the commencement of the action. [Republic vs.
Miller, G.R. No. 125932, April 21, 1999; Republic vs CA and Bobiles, G.R. No. 92326,
January 24, 1992]