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Goitia vs Campos-Rueda, 35 Phils 252

Legarda Book: “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, duties, and obligations of which rest not upon the agreement
of the parties but upon 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 interested. It is a
relation for life and the parties cannot terminate it at any shorter period by virtue of any contract they make.”

FACTS:

 Luisa Goitia de la Camara, petitioner, and Jose Campos Rueda, respondent, were married on
January 7, 1915 and had a residence at 115 Calle San Marcelino Manila. They stayed together for
a month before petitioner returned to her parent’s home.
 Goitia filed a complaint against respondent for support outside the conjugal home. It was alleged
that respondent demanded her to perform unchaste and lascivious acts on his genital organs. (BJ)
 Goitia kept on refusing, respondent maltreated her, inflicting injuries upon her lips, face and
different body parts.
 As Goitia can’t desist her husband anymore from his repugnant desires, she was obliged to leave
the conjugal home.
 The trial court ruled in favor of respondent and stated that Goitia could not compel her husband to
support her except in the conjugal home unless it is by virtue of a judicial decree granting her
separation or divorce from respondent.
 Goitia filed motion for review.

ISSUE: WON Goitia can compel her husband to support her outside the conjugal home.

HELD:

Art. 149: The Person obliged to give support may, at his option, satisfy it, either by paying the pension that
may be fixed or by receiving and maintaining in his own home the person having the right to the same.

The rule laid down in Article 149 of the Civil code is not absolute

Articles 42 to 107 of the Civil Code in force in the Peninsula are not in force in the Philippine Islands. The
law governing the duties and obligations of husband and wife in this country are Articles 44 to 78 of the law
of civil marriage of 1870.

The obligation on the part of the husband to support his wife is created merely in the act of marriage. The
law provides that the husband, who is obliged to support the wife, may fulfill the obligation either by paying
her a fixed pension or by maintaining her in his own home at his option. However, this option given by law
is not absolute. The law will not permit the husband to evade or terminate his obligation to support his wife
if the wife is driven away from the conjugal home because of his wrongful acts. In the case at bar, the wife
was forced to leave the conjugal abode because of the lewd designs and physical assault of the husband,
she can therefore claim support from the husband for separate maintenance even outside the conjugal
home.

This is a judgment calling for the performance of a duty made specific by the mandate of the sovereign.
This is done to preserve the public peace and the purity of the wife.