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Civil Code Digested Cases


146 SCRA 446
April 24, 1985

Petitioners Lorenzo M. Tanada, et. al. invoked due process in demanding the disclosure of a
number of Presidential Decrees which they claimed had not been published as required by Law. The
government argued that while publication was necessary as a rule, it was not so when it was otherwise
provided, as when the decrees themselves declared that they were to become effective immediately
upon approval. The court decided on April 24, 1985 in affirming the necessity for publication of some
of the decrees. The court ordered the respondents to publish in the official gazette all unpublished
Presidential Issuances which are of general force and effect. The petitioners suggest that there should
be no distinction between laws of general applicability and those which are not. The publication means
complete publication, and that publication must be made in the official gazette. In a comment
required by the solicitor general, he claimed first that the motion was a request for an advisory opinion
and therefore be dismissed. And on the clause unless otherwise provided in Article 2 of the new civil
code meant that the publication required therein was not always imperative, that the publication when
necessary, did not have to be made in the official gazette.

(1) Whether or not all laws shall be published in the official gazette
(2) Whether or not publication in the official gazette must be in full


(1) The court held that all statue including those of local application shall be published as
condition for their effectivity unless a different effectivity date is fixed by the legislature.
(2) The publication must be full or no publication at all since its purpose is to inform the
public of the content of the laws.


GR No. 137873
April 20, 2001

FACTS: On November 2, 1990, Jose Juego, a construction worker of D.M. Consunji, Inc., fell 14
floors from the Renaissance Tower, Pasig City to his death. On May 9, 1991, Jose Juegos widow, filed
in the RTC of Pasig a complaint for damages against the deceaseds employer, D.M. Consunji, Inc. The
employer raised, among other defenses, the widows prior availment of the benefits from the State
Insurance Fund. The RTC rendered a decision in favor of the widow Maria Juego, ordering the
defendant to pay plaintiff. On appeal by D.M. Consunji, the CA affirmed the decision of the RTC in
toto. Hence, this petition.

Issue: Whether or not the petitioner (Consunji) is negligent and should be liable.

The decision of the CA is affirmed.
The claims for damages sustained by workers in the course of their employment could be filed only
under the Workmens Compensation Law, to the exclusion of all further claims under other laws. The
CA held that the case at bar came under exception because private respondent was unaware of
petitioners negligence when she filed her claim for death benefits from the State Insurance Fund.
2 SCRA 205
May 30, 1961
Cui was a law scholar at the Arellano University; he paid the tuition fees but it was returned to
him at the end of every semester. Before Arellano awarded the scholarship grant, Cui was made to sign
a contract covenant and agreement saying that he waives his right to transfer to another school in
consideration of the scholarship grant and if he transfers, he shall pay the tuition fees awarded to him
while being a scholar. He transferred to another school to finish his last term in law school. When he
was about to take the Bar, his TOR at Arellano was not issued unless he pays the amount of the tuition
fees that were returned to him when he was still their scholar. He paid under protest.

Whether or not the provision of the contract between plaintiff and the defendant, whereby the
former waived his right to transfer to another school without refunding to the latter the equivalent of
his scholarship grants in cash, is valid or not.

The waiver signed by Cui was void as it was contrary to public policy; it was null and void.
Scholarship grants, as pointed out by the Director of the Bureau of Private Schools in
Memorandum No. 38, are awarded in recognition of merit and not to attract and keep brilliant students
in school for their propaganda value. To look at such grants as a business scheme designed to increase
the business potential of an educational institution is not only inconsistent with sound public policy but
also good morals. Consequently, the waiver signed by the student, waiving his right to transfer to
another school unless he refunds to the university the equivalent of his scholarship grants, is null and
WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is hereby reverse and another one shall be entered
sentencing the defendant to pay to the plaintiff the sum of P1,033.87, with interest thereon at the
legal rate from September 1, 1954, date of the institution of this case, as well as the costs, and
dismissing defendants counterclaim. It is so ordered.

176 SCRA 778
August 25, 1989

10 November 1972, herein private respondent Restituto Tobias, a purchasing agent and
administrative assistant to the engineering operations manager, discovered fictitious purchases and
other fraudulent transactions, which caused Globe Mackay Cable and Radio Corp loss of several
thousands of pesos. He reported it to his immediate superior Eduardo T. Ferraren and to the Executive
Vice President and General Manager Herbert Hendry. A day after the report, Hendry told Tobias that he
was number one suspect and ordered him one week forced leave. When Tobias returned to work after
said leave, Hendry called him a crook and a swindler, ordered him to take a lie detector test, and
to submit specimen of his handwriting, signature and initials for police investigation. Moreover,
petitioners hired a private investigator. Private investigation was still incomplete; the lie detector
tests yielded negative results; reports from Manila police investigators and from the Metro Manila
Police Chief Document Examiner are in favor of Tobias. Petitioners filed with the Fiscals Office of
Manila a total of six (6) criminal cases against private respondent Tobias, but were dismissed.
Tobias received a notice of termination of his employment from petitioners in January 1973,
effective December 1972. He sought employment with the Republic Telephone Company (RETELCO);
but Hendry wrote a letter to RETELCO stating that Tobias was dismissed by Globe Mackay due to
dishonesty. Tobias, then, filed a civil case for damages anchored on alleged unlawful, malicious,
oppressive, and abusive acts of petitioners. The Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch IX, through
Judge Manuel T. Reyes rendered judgment in favor of private respondent, ordering petitioners to pay
him eighty thousand pesos (P80,000.00) as actual damages, two hundred thousand pesos (P200,000.00)
as moral damages, twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00) as exemplary damages, thirty thousand pesos
(P30,000.00) as attorney's fees, and costs; hence, this petition for review on certiorari.

Issue: Whether or not petitioners are liable for damages to private respondent.

Yes. The Court, after examining the record and considering certain significant circumstances,
finds that all petitioners have indeed abused the right that they invoke, causing damage to private
respondent and for which the latter must now be indemnified: when Hendry told Tobias to just confess
or else the company would file a hundred more cases against him until he landed in jail; his (Hendry)
scornful remarks about Filipinos ("You Filipinos cannot be trusted.) as well as against Tobias (crook,
and swindler); the writing of a letter to RETELCO stating that Tobias was dismissed by Globe Mackay
due to dishonesty; and the filing of six criminal cases by petitioners against private respondent. All
these reveal that petitioners are motivated by malicious and unlawful intent to harass, oppress, and
cause damage to private respondent. The imputation of guilt without basis and the pattern of
harassment during the investigations of Tobias transgress the standards of human conduct set forth in
Article 19 of the Civil Code.

WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED and the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No.
09055 is AFFIRMED.

TESTATE ESTATE OF JOSEPH G. BRIMO, JUAN MICIANO, Administrator, petitioner-appellee, vs

ANDRE BRIMO, opponent-appellant
50 Phil. 867
November 01, 1927

Andre Brimo opposed the appeal of Juan Miciano, administrator of the estate of the deceased Joseph
Brimo. The property was said to be in the Philippines and the testatrix wished that the distribution of
his properties and everything in connection with it be in accordance with the Philippine laws.
Oppositor-appellant Brimo claimed that the will of the testatrix is not in accordance with the laws of
his Turkish nationality. The errors he (oppositor) assigned in his opposition were the following: (1) the
approval of said scheme partition, (2) denial of his participation in the inheritance, (3) denial of the
motion for reconsideration of the order approving the partition, (4) the approval of the purchase made
by the Pietro Lanza of the deceased's business and the deed of transfer of said business, and (5) the
declaration that the Turkish laws are impertinent to this cause, and the failure not to postpone the
approval of the scheme of partition and the delivery of the deceased's business to Pietro Lanza until
the receipt of the depositions requested in reference to the Turkish laws.

Whether or not Philippine laws shall be applied on the estate of Joseph Brimo, a Turkish citizen who
have resided for a considerable length of time in the Philippines.

Article 10 of the old Civil Code of the Philippine law was applied on the estate of Joseph Brimo, where
it was provided, nevertheless, legal and testamentary successions, in respect to the order of
succession as well as to the amount of the successional rights and the 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 the property or the country in which it may be situated. However, the
oppositor did not prove, though was granted ample opportunity to introduce competent evidence, that
said testamentary dispositions are not in accordance with the Turkish laws. Therefore, there is no
evidence in the record that the national law of the testatrix was violated in the testamentary
dispositions in question which, not being contrary to our laws in force, must be complied with and
executed; thus, the approval of the scheme of partition in this respect was not erroneous.

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 Andre Brimo as one of the legatees, and
the scheme of partition submitted by the judicial administrator is approved in all other respects,
without any pronouncement as to costs. SO ORDERED.

IMELDA MANALAYSAY PILAPIL, petitioner, vs. HON. CORONA IBAY-SOMERA, in her capacity as
Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch XXVI; HON. LUIS C. VICTOR, in his
capacity as the City Fiscal of Manila; and ERICH EKKEHARD GEILING, respondents
174 SCRA 653
June 30, 1989

This is a SPECIAL CIVIL ACTION for certiorari and prohibition to review the order of the
Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch XXVI.
Petitioner, a Filipina, and private respondent, a German national, got married on 7
September 1979 before the Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths at Friedensweiler in the Federal
Republic of Germany. They lived together for some time in Malate, Manilawhere their only child
Isabella Pilapil Geiling was born on April 20, 1980. However, on 15 January 1986, Division 20 of the
Schoneberg Local Court, Federal Republic of Germany, promulgated a decree of divorce on the
marriage of Pilapil and Geiling on the ground of failure of their marriage.
27 June 1986, private respondent filed two complaints for adultery before the City
Fiscal of Manila alleging that while still married to said respondent, petitioner had an affair with a
certain William Chia as early as 1982, and with yet another man named Jesus Chua sometime in 1983.
Several motions for dismissal were filed by Pilapil. She also filed a motion to quash on the ground of
lack of jurisdiction.

(1) Whether or not the family rights and duties, status, condition and legal capacity of the
petitioner are also covered by the foreign law of her former husband.
(2) Whether or not private respondent has the legal capacity to initiate an action for adultery
against the petitioner.

(1) The petitioners family rights and duties, status, condition and legal capacity are all bound to
Philippine laws, regardless of where she lives. However, Philippine laws recognize decrees validly and
legally obtained abroad, because if not, the enjoyment of rights of a foreign spouse who obtained a
divorce decreed by his national law would eventually injure or be prejudicial to the Filipino wife whose
marriage would still be valid under her national law.
(2) As a consequence of the divorce decree, private respondent, being no longer the husband of the
petitioner, had no legal standing to commence the action for adultery under the imposture that he was
the offended spouse at the time he filed the suit. The severance of the marital bond had the effect of
dissociating the former spouses from each other; hence the actuations of one would not affect or cast
obloquy on the other.

WHEREFORE, the questioned order denying petitioners motion to quash is SET ASIDE and another one
entered DISMISSING the complaint in Criminal Case No. 87-52435 for lack of jurisdiction. The temporary
restraining order issued in this case on October 21, 1987 is hereby made permanent. SO ORDERED.

GUEVARA-SALONGA, Presiding Judge of Makati RTC, Branch 149, respondents.
G.R. No. 142820
June 20, 2003

Petitioner Wolfgang, a German citizen and resident of Germany, married private respondent
Carmen, a Filipina, on 11 December 1980 in Hamburg, Gemany. Early 1981, the marriage was ratified
in Tayasan, Negros Oriental. They had two daughters, Carolyne and Alexandria Kristine.
Private respondent filed a petition for the declaration of nullity of marriage before the
Regional Trial Court of Makati on 28 August 1996. Petitioner filed a motion to dismiss but was denied by
trial court. A motion for reconsideration was filed by private respondent but was again denied by the
trial court.
In 1997, petitioner obtained a decree of divorce from the Court of First Instance of
Hamburg-Blankenese and granting the custody of the children to the father.
It was June 14, 1999 when public respondent issued an order granting the petitioners
motion to dismiss, but was partially set aside on September 1999 for the purpose of tackling issues
regarding property relations of the spouses as well as support and custody of their children. Petitioner
assailed for the trial courts lack of jurisdiction, and grave abuse of discretion on the part of the
respondent judge.

Whether or not the Philippine courts can determine the legal effects of a decree of divorce
from a foreign country.

Yes. Our courts can determine the legal effects of a divorce obtained from a foreign country
such as those concerning with support and custody of the children.
In this case, the decree did not touch as to who the offending spouse was. The trial court
was correct in setting the issue for hearing to determine the issue of parental custody, care, support
and education of the best interests of the children. After all, the childs welfare is always the
paramount consideration in all questions concerning his care and custody.
WHEREFORE, the orders of the Regional Trial Court of Makati, Branch 149, issued on
September 30, 1999 and March 31, 2000 are AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION. We hereby declare that the
trial court has jurisdiction over the issue between the parties as to who has parental custody, including
the care, support and education of the children, namely Carolyne and Alexandra Kristine Roehr. Let
the records of this case be remanded promptly to the trial court for continuation of appropriate
proceedings. No pronouncement as to costs.

GRACE J. GARCIA, a.k.a. GRACE J. GARCIA-RECIO, petitioner, vs. REDERICK A. RECIO, respondent
G.R. No. 138322
October 2, 2001

Rederick, a Filipino, was married to Editha Samson, an Australian citizen, in Malabon,
Rizal on March 1, 1987. They lived together as husband and wife in Australia. On May 18, 1989, a
decree of divorce purportedly dissolving the marriage was issued by an Australian Family Court. On 26
June 1992, respondent became an Australian citizen, as shown by a Certificate of Australian
Citizenship issued by an Australian government.
Subsequently, Recio-Garcia nuptial took place in Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church,
Cabanatuan City on January 12, 1994. In their marriage application for marriage license, respondent
was declared as single and Filipino.
Since October 22, 1995 Garcia and Recio lived separately without prior dissolution of
their marriage. While they were still in Australia, their conjugal assets were divided on May 1996, in
accordance with their declaration secured in Australia.
March 3, 1998, petitioner filed a Complaint for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage in the
trial court, on the ground of bigamyrespondent allegedly had a prior subsisting marriage at the time
he married her in 1994. She claimed that she only learned of Recios marriage to Samson in November
In his answer, Recio averred that as of 1993, he had revealed to petitioner his prior
marriage to an Australian citizen, that it had been validly dissolved by decree of divorce in 1989,
making him legally capacitated to marry petitioner in 1994.

1. Whether or not a Filipino, who became a naturalized Australian citizen, is still bound by
Philippine Laws.
2. Whether or not the respondent has legal capacity to marry the petitioner after the Australian
decree of divorce.
3. Whether or not a former Filipino need not to present any document proving his divorced
marriage with a foreigner which he obtained abroad.

1. No. Compliance with the quoted articles (11, 13, and 52) of the Family Code is not necessary;
respondent was no longer bound by Philippine personal laws after he acquired Australian citizenship in
1992. Naturalization is the legal act of adopting an alien and clothing him with the political and civil
rights belonging to a citizen.
2. No. In this case, respondent failed to prove his legal capacity to remarry even if he showed the
Australian divorce decree, which he said was a public document, a written official act of an Australian
family court, and thus needs no further proof of authenticity and due execution. A duly authenticated
and admitted certificate is prima facie evidence of legal capacity to marry on the part of the alien
applicant for a marriage license. The Court ruled that presentation solely of the divorce decree, which
is what the respondent did, is insufficient.
3. Yes. The burden of proof lies with the party who alleges the existence of a fact or thing
necessary in the prosecution or defense of an action. Since the divorce was a defense raised by the
respondent, the burden of proving the pertinent Australian law validating it falls squarely upon him.
The Court still stands that compliance with the rules on evidence must be demonstrated.
WHEREFORE, in the interest of orderly procedure and substantive justice, we REMAND
the case to the court a quo for the purpose of receiving evidence which conclusively show respondents
legal capacity to marry petitioner; and failing in that, of declaring the parties marriage on the ground
of bigamy, as above discussed. No costs.

BISAYA, respondent
G.R. No. 154259
February 28, 2005

This is a petition for review on certiorari regarding the reversing decision of the Court
of Appeals in the decision of the Trial Court and thus, making the petitioners liable for damages
through the abusive conduct of petitioner Lim, imposing upon them P200,000 as exemplary damages,
P200,000 as moral damages, and P10,000 as attorneys fees.
Plaintiff Roberto Reyes (Amay Bisaya) was having coffee at the Nikko Hotel lobby on
October 13, 1994 at around six in the morning when Dr. Violeta Filart, a long-time friend, approached
him and invited him to a party at the penthouse where the hotels former managers birthday was
being celebrated. He consented and carried the latters present. At the party, when he was helping
himself at the buffet table, Ruby Lim, one of the petitioners, approached him and asked him to leave
in a loud voice enough to be heard by those around the buffet table. Then, a Makati policeman
accompanied the embarrassed Amay Bisaya in leaving the penthouse.
Ruby Lim accepted the fact that she asked Mr. Reyes to leave but not in the manner he
claimed. She said she politely asked Mr. Reyes to finish his food and leave the party as the celebrant
wants the party to be intimate, and that he was not invited. On the other hand, Dr. Filart denied Amay
Bisayas claim that she invited him to the party.

Whether or not petitioner Lims conduct was abusive enough to make the petitioners
liable for damages caused to plaintiff.

No. The Supreme Court ruled that any damage which Mr. Reyes might have suffered
through Ms. Lims exercise of a legitimate right done within the bounds of propriety and good faith,
must be his to bear alone.
The plaintiff failed in proving the ill-motive of the petitioners. It was from his
confession that when Ms. Lim approached him, they were very close that they nearly kissed each other.
Considering the closeness of defendant Lim to plaintiff when she requested the latter to leave the
party, it is apparent that the request was meant to be heard by him only and there could have been no
intention on her part to cause him embarrassment. It was plaintiffs reaction to the request that must
have made the other guests aware of what transpired between them. Had plaintiff simply left the party
as requested, there was no need for the police to take him out. Therefore, we find the petitioners not
guilty of violating Articles 19 and 21 of the Civil Code.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition filed by Ruby Lim and Nikko Hotel
Manila Garden is GRANTED. The Decision of the Court of Appeals dated 26 November 2001 and its
Resolution dated 09 July 2002 are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The Decision of the Regional Trial
Court of Quezon City, Branch 104, dated 26 April 1999 is hereby AFFIRMED. No costs.

(MERALCO), respondent
G.R. No. 142943
April 3, 2002

This is a petition for review filed by petitioners regarding the February 1, 2000 Decision and
the April 10, 2000 Resolution of the Court of Appeals where the decision of the trial court is set aside,
the complaint against MERALCO is dismissed, and plaintiffs-appellees are ordered to pay defendant-
appellant the differential billing of P193,332.00 representing the value of used but unregistered
electrical consumption.
Spouses Antonio and Lorna Quisumbing, plaintiffs-appellees in this case, are the owners of a
house and lot located at No. 94 Greenmeadows Avenue, Quezon City which they bought from Ms.
Carmina Serapio Santos. On March 3, 1995, around 9am, defendant-appellants inspectors headed by
Emmanuel C. Orlina were assigned to conduct a routine on the spot inspection of all single phase
meters at the house owned by the spouses. The inspectors performed their standard operating
procedure by first asking permission from the secretary of the couple before they proceed to the
inspection of the house. Later, the inspectors found out that there were few illegal markings on the
meter which made defendant-appellant temporarily disconnect electrical services that will only be
restored unless the couple will pay P178, 875 representing the differential bill. However, at around
2pm, the electric service was reconnected as instructed by defendant-appellants officer. Plaintiff-
appellees filed a complaint for damages with a prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary
injunction despite the immediate reconnection.

Whether or not the act of the defendant-appellants inspectors in immediately disconnecting
the electrical service of MERALCO constituted a violation of rights of the plaintiffs-appellees, making
the respondent liable to pay damages to petitioner.

Yes. Respondent had no legal right to immediately disconnect petitioners electrical supply
without observing the requisites of law which, in turn, are akin to due process. Public utilities have a
clear duty to see to it that they do not violate nor transgress the rights of the consumers. Any act on
their part that militates against the ordinary norms of justice and fair play is considered an infraction
that gives rise to an action for damages. Such is the case at bar.
WHEREFORE, the Petition is hereby PARTLY GRANTED. The assailed CA Decision is MODIFIED
as follows: petitioners are ORDERED to pay respondent the billing differential of P193, 322.96; while
respondent is ordered to pay petitioners P100,000 as moral damages, P50,000 as exemplary damages,
and P50,000 as attorneys fees. No pronouncement as to costs.

CECILIO PE, ET AL., plaintiffs-appellants, vs. ALFONSO PE, defendant-appellee

5 SCRA 200
May 30, 1962

This is an appeal brought before the Court of Appeals upon the decision of the trial court
dismissing the complaint of plaintiffs-appellants, who are the parents, brothers and sisters of Lolita,
based on their claim that defendant Alfonsoa married man who works as an agent of the La Perla
Cigar and Cigarette Factory, staying in Gasan, Marinduque, an adopted son of a Chinese named Pe Beco
who is a collateral relative of Lolitas fatherdeliberately and in bad faith tried to win Lolitas
affection, causing moral damages to plaintiff.
Because of the frequency of his visits to Lolitas family who has allowed free access because
he was a collateral relative and was considered as a member of her family, the two eventually fell in
love with each other and conducted clandestine love affairs both in Gasan, and Boac where Lolita used
to teach in a barrio school. When the rumors about their illicit affairs reached the knowledge of her
parents, defendant was forbidden from going to their house and even from seeing Lolita. Plaintiffs
even filed deportation proceedings against defendant who is a Chinese national. Nevertheless,
defendant continued his love affairs with Lolita until she disappeared from the parental home on April
14, 1957.

Whether or not defendant caused moral damages to plaintiff, when as a married man, he
pursued his love affair with Lolita.

Yes. No other conclusion can be drawn from this chain of events than that defendant not
only deliberately, but through a clever strategy, succeeded in winning the affection and love of Lolita
to the extent of having illicit relations with her. The wrong he has caused her and her family is indeed
immeasurable considering the fact that he is a married man. Verily, he has committed an injury to
Lolitas family contrary to morals, good customs and public policy as contemplated in Article 21 of the
new Civil Code.
WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is reversed. Defendant is hereby sentenced to pay
the plaintiffs the sum of P5,000.00 as damages and P2,000.00 as attorneys fees and expenses of
litigations. Costs against appellee.

PASTOR B. TENCHAVEZ, plaintiff-appellant, vs. VICENTA F. ESCAO, ET AL., defendants-appellees

15 SCRA 179
November 29, 1965

Out of their love affair, Vicenta Escao and Pastor Tenchavez secretly got married on 24
February 1948 before Catholic chaplain Lt. Moises Lavares. Their marriage was duly registered in the
local civil registrar. Later in their marriage, Vicentas parents, Mamerto and Mena Escao, found out of
their secret marriage; however, she continued living with her parents than eloping with her husband.
Pastor went to Manila, leaving his wife in Cebu. Vicenta later went to Jimenez, Misamis Occidental to
escape from the scandal that her marriage stirred in Cebu society. On 24 June 1950, she applied for a
passport where it is indicated the she is single. After approval of the application, she left for the
United States and there, on August 1950, filed a complaint for divorce against Pastor on the ground of
extreme cruelty, entirely mental in character; marriage was decreed divorced as final and
absolute in Nevada on October 1950. She then sought papal dispensation for her marriage to
Tenchavez. In 1954, Vicenta married an American and begotten children. She acquired American
citizenship in 1958. Herein petitioner filed a complaint against Vicenta Escao and her parents, whom
he alleged to have influenced her from living with him.

Whether or not parents-defendants shall pay petitioner for damages.

No. There is no evidence that the parents of Vicenta, out of improper motives, aided and
abetted her original suit for annulment, or her subsequent divorce; she appears to have acted
independently, and being of age, she was entitled to judge what was best for her and ask that her
decisions be respected. Her parents, in so doing, certainly cannot be charged with alienation of
affections in the absence of malice or unworthy motives, which have not been shown, good faith being
always presumed until the contrary is proved.
Plaintiff Tenchavez, in falsely charging Vicenta's aged parents with racial or social
discrimination and with having exerted efforts and pressured her to seek annulment and divorce,
unquestionably caused them unrest and anxiety, entitling them to recover damages. While this suit
may not have been impelled by actual malice, the charges were certainly reckless in the face of the
proven facts and circumstances. Court actions are not established for parties to give vent to their
prejudices or spleen.
WHEREFORE, the decision under appeal is hereby modified as follows;
(1) Adjudging plaintiff-appellant Pastor Tenchavez entitled to a decree of legal separation
from defendant Vicenta F. Escao;
(2) Sentencing defendant-appellee Vicenta Escao to pay plaintiff-appellant Tenchavez the
amount of P25,000 for damages and attorneys' fees;
(3) Sentencing appellant Pastor Tenchavez to pay the appellee, Mamerto Escao and the
estate of his wife, the deceased Mena Escao, P5,000 by way of damages and attorneys' fees.
Neither party to recover costs.

133 SCRA 179
November 14, 1984
This case is about the recovery of damages for a wrongful advertisement in the December
15, 1968 and January 5, 1969 issue of the Sunday Times where St. Louis Realty Corporation
misrepresented that the house of Doctor Conrado J. Aramil belonged to Arcadio S. Arcadio. Moreover,
there was violation of Aramil's right to privacy.
Trial court through Judge Leuterio awarded P8,000 as actual damages, P20,000 as
moral damages and P2,000 as attorneys fees. Had it not been a late action for publication of
rectification and apologywhich only took place 15 April 1969 issue of Manila Times Doctor Aramil
could have not suffered mental anguish and his income would have not been reduced by about P1,000
to P1,500 a month. Petitioner assailed the decision of the Appellate Court when it affirmed the trial
courts decision. Furthermore, the corporation contends that the decision is contrary to law and that
the case was decided in a way not in conformity with the rulings of this Court and still continues to
argue that the case is not covered by article 26.

Whether or not the case filed against St. Louis Realty Corporation is covered by Article
26 of the new Civil Code.

Yes, this case is covered by Article 26 of the Civil Code.
St. Louis Realty's employee was grossly negligent in mixing up the Aramil and Arcadio
residences in a widely circulated publication like the Sunday Times. Through that negligence, persons
who know the residence of Doctor Aramil, were confused by the distorted, lingering impression that he
was renting his residence from Arcadio or that Arcadio had leased it from him. Either way, his private
life was mistakenly and unnecessarily exposed. He suffered diminution of income and mental anguish.
WHEREFORE, the judgment of the Appellate Court is affirmed. Costs against the

ABAYAN, respondents
160 SCRA 441
April 15, 1988

This petition for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction was filed by
petitioner when the Court denied his motion for reconsideration due to lack of merit.
Private respondent Paz Abayan filed an information for bigamy against petitioner
Leonilo Donato. She also filed with the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court a civil action for
declaration of nullity of marriage to petitioner because of a prior marriage of petitioner. In his answer
petitioner claimed that his second marriage was void because it was solemnized without a valid
marriage license and that violence, intimation and undue influence were employed by Paz to obtain his
Prior to the date set for the trial of the criminal case, petitioner filed a motion to
suspend the proceedings of the case because the civil action raises a prejudicial question which must
first be determined before the criminal case can proceed.

Whether or not a criminal case for bigamy pending before the Court of First Instance of
Manila should be suspended in view of a civil case for annulment of marriage pending before the
Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court on the ground that the latter constitutes a prejudicial question.
The respondent judge answered in the negative. The Court sustained him.
The requisites of a prejudicial question do not obtain in the case at bar. It must be
noted that the issue before the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court touching upon the nullity of the
second marriage is not determinative of petitioner Donato's guilt or innocence in the crime of bigamy.
Furthermore, it was petitioner's second wife, the herein private respondent Paz B. Abayan who filed
the complaint for annulment of the second marriage on the ground that her consent was obtained
through deceit. Petitioner Donato failed to prove that his consent to the second marriage has been
obtained by the use of threats, force and intimidation.
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the instant petition is hereby DISMISSED for lack
of merit. We make no pronouncement as to costs.

ALICE REYES VAN DORN, petitioner, VS. HON. MANUEL ROMILLO JR., as Presiding Judge of Branch
CX, Regional Trial Court of the National Capital Region Pasay City and RICHARD UPTON,
139 SCRA 139
October 8, 1985

Alice Reyes, the petitioner is a citizen of the Philippines while private respondent Richard
Upton is a citizen of the United States. They were married in Hong Kong in 1972 and they established
residence in the Philippines. They had two children and they were divorced in Nevada, USA in 1982.
The petitioner remarried in Nevada to Theodore Van Dorn. The private responded filed against
petitioner stating that the petitioners business is a conjugal property of the parties and that
respondent is 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, where respondent acknowledged that they had no community property as of
June 11, 1982.

a. Whether or not their divorce in Nevada, USA in 1982 is recognized in the Philippines.
b. Whether or not the private respondent as petitioners husband is entitled to exercise control over
conjugal assets

The policy against absolute divorce covers only Philippine nationals.
However, aliens may obtain divorce abroad, which may be recognized in the Philippines
provided they are valid according to their national law. The divorce the parties obtained from the
Nevada Court released both parties from marital ties, thus, private respondent is no longer the
husband of petitioner. He would have no standing to sue in the case as petitioners husband entitled to
exercise control over conjugal assets. He is estopped by his own representation before said court from
asserting his right over the alleged conjugal property.


211 SCRA 6
July 3, 1992

Complainant Dorothy Terre was married to her first cousin while respondent Jordan Terre, who is a
member of the Philippine Bar, with the knowledge of her marriage still courted her and have convinced
her to marry him since her prior marriage is void ab initio.

Later, respondent disappeared, and abandoned Dorothy and their first-born Jason. Complainant found
out that Atty. Terre married one named Helina Malicdem. Upon knowing of this, she filed an
administrative case to disbar respondent. Jordan claimed that his marriage to complainant, which he
believed in good faith, was null and void from the beginning; thus, does not need a judicial declaration
of nullity. He also denied that Jason was his son to Dorothy.

Whether or not a judicial declaration of nullity of marriage is needed in order to contract a second

YES. A judicial declaration that the first marriage was null and void ab initio is essential, for through it,
a person can be determined as to be legally free to contract a second marriage.
However, in this case, the marriage between Dorothy and Atty. Jordan is deemed to be void since the
complainant's first marriage has not obtained a judicial declaration nullifying it. The respondent was
not charged of bigamy, but was proved to be guilty of gross immoral conduct, a factor that affected his
moral fitness for membership in the legal profession.
WHEREFORE, the Court Resolved to DISBAR respondent Jordan Terre and to STRIKE OUT his name from
the Roll of Attorneys. A copy of this decision shall be spread on the personal record of respondent
Jordan Terre in the Bar Confidant's Office. A copy of this Resolution shall also be furnished to the
Integrated Bar of the Philippines and shall be circularized to all the courts of the land. SO ORDERED.

G.R. No. 70890
September 18, 1992

Julie Ann Gotiong, daughter of respondent spouses, and Wendell Libi, son of
petitioners, were sweethearts for more than two years before their death. Julie broke up with Wendell
upon finding out of his sadistic and irresponsible character. Wendell kept on pestering Julie Ann with
demands for reconciliation but her persistent refusal caused him to threaten her. 14 January 1979,
Julie Ann and Wendell died, each from a single gunshot wound of the same firearm. Private
respondents claimed that it was Wendell who deliberately caused their daughter's death, and his,
respectively. Spouses Libi contended that a third party, probably a person related to Wendell's work as
a Constabulary Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) agent, must have caused his death and Julie's. Gotiong
spouses filed a civil case against the Libi spouses to recover damages arising from the latter's vicarious
liability under Article 2180 of the Civil Code. The court dismissed plaintiffs' complaint for insufficiency
of the evidence, and denied defendants' counterclaim for lack of sufficient merit. On appeal to
respondent court, the lower court's decision was set aside.
Herein petitioners seek for the reversal of judgment of respondent court promulgated
on 2 January 1985 sentencing defendants-spouses Libi to pay to plaintiff P30,000.00 for moral
damages, P10,000.00 for exemplary damages, P20,000.00 as attorney's fees and costs.

Whether or not respondent court correctly reversed the trial court in accordance with
established decisional laws; and
Whether or not Article 2180 of the Civil Code was correctly interpreted by respondent
court to make petitioners liable for vicarious liability.
The court ruled that the Libi spouses are and should be held primarilyliable for the
civil liability arising from criminal offenses committed by their minor son under their legal authority or
control, and who lives in their company. It is also proven that defendants-appellees utterly failed to
exercise the requisite diligentissimi patris familias in preventing their minor son from committing this
crime by means of the gun of defendants-appellees which was freely accessible to Wendell Libi for they
have not regularly checked whether said gun was still under lock, but learned that it was missing from
safety deposit box only after the crime had been committed.
ACCORDINGLY, the instant petition is DENIED and the assailed judgment of respondent
Court of Appeals is hereby AFFIRMED with costs against petitioners. SO ORDERED.