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G.R. No. L-68470 October 8, 1985

Petitioner Alice Reyes Van Dorn is a citizen of the Philippines while
private respondent is a citizen of the United States; they were married in
Hong Kong in 1972. Thereafter, they established their residence in the
Philippines and begot two children born on April 4, 1973 and December 18,
1975. Subsequently, they were divorced in Nevada, United States, in 1982,
and that petitioner has re-married also in Nevada, this time to Theodore Van

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 is their conjugal
property; that petitioner he ordered to render accounting of the business and
that private respondent be declared to manage the conjugal property.
Petitioner moved to dismiss the case contending that the cause of action is
barred by the 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 denial now is the subject of the
certiorari proceeding.

Whether or not the divorce obtained by the parties is binding only to
the alien spouse.

Is it true that owing to the nationality principle embodied in Article 15
of the Civil Code, only Philippine nationals are covered by the policy against
absolute divorces the same being considered contrary to our concept of public
policy and morality. However, aliens may obtain divorces abroad, which may
be recognized in the Philippines, provided they are valid according to their
national law. In this case, the divorce in Nevada released private respondent
from the marriage from the standards of American Law, under which divorce
dissolves the marriage.
Thus, pursuant to his national law, private respondent is no longer the
husband 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 own country’s court, which validly exercised
jurisdiction over him, and whose decision he does not repudiate, he is stopped
by his own representation before said court from asserting his right over the
alleged conjugal property.

G.R. No. 152577 September 21,

Respondent Crasus married Fely on 16 December 1961 at Bradford
Memorial Church, Jones Avenue, Cebu City. As a result of their union, they
had five children – Crasus, Jr., Daphne, Debbie, Calvert, and Carlos – who
are now all of legal ages. After the celebration of their marriage, respondent
Crasus discovered that Fely was "hot-tempered, a nagger and extravagant."
In 1984, Fely left the Philippines for the United States of America (U.S.A.),
leaving all of their five children, the youngest then being only six years old, to
the care of respondent Crasus. Barely a year after Fely left for the U.S.A.,
respondent Crasus received a letter from her requesting that he sign the
enclosed divorce papers; he disregarded the said request. Sometime in 1985,
respondent Crasus learned, through the letters sent by Fely to their children,
that Fely got married to an American, with whom she eventually had a child.
In 1987, Fely came back to the Philippines with her American family, staying
at Cebu Plaza Hotel in Cebu City. Respondent Crasus did not bother to talk
to Fely because he was afraid he might not be able to bear the sorrow and the
pain she had caused him. Fely returned to the Philippines several times
more: in 1990, for the wedding of their eldest child, Crasus, Jr.; in 1992, for
the brain operation of their fourth child, Calvert; and in 1995, for unknown
reasons. Fely continued to live with her American family in New Jersey,
U.S.A. She had been openly using the surname of her American husband in
the Philippines and in the U.S.A. For the wedding of Crasus, Jr., Fely herself
had invitations made in which she was named as "Mrs. Fely Ada Micklus." At
the time the Complaint was filed, it had been 13 years since Fely left and
abandoned respondent Crasus, and there was no more possibility of
reconciliation between them. Respondent Crasus finally alleged in his
Complaint that Fely’s acts brought danger and dishonor to the family, and
clearly demonstrated her psychological incapacity to perform the essential
obligations of marriage. Such incapacity, being incurable and continuing,
constitutes a ground for declaration of nullity of marriage under Article 36, in
relation to Articles 68, 70, and 72, of the Family Code.

On 30 October 1998, the RTC promulgated its Judgment declaring the

marriage of respondent Crasus and Fely null and void ab initio. The Court of
Appeals rendered its decision affirming the trial court’s declaration of the
nullity of the marriage of the parties.

a) Whether or not the totality of evidence presented during trial is
insufficient to support the finding of psychological incapacity of Fely?
b) Whether or not Article 26, paragraph 2 of the Family Code of the
Philippines is applicable to the case at bar?

The only substantial evidence presented by respondent Crasus before
the RTC was his testimony, which can be easily put into question for being
self-serving, in the absence of any other corroborating evidence. He submitted
only two other pieces of evidence: (1) the Certification on the recording with
the Register of Deeds of the Marriage Contract between respondent Crasus
and Fely, such marriage being celebrated on 16 December 1961; and (2) the
invitation to the wedding of Crasus, Jr., their eldest son, in which Fely used
her American husband’s surname. Even considering the admissions made by
Fely herself in her Answer to respondent Crasus’s Complaint filed with the
RTC, the evidence is not enough to convince this Court that Fely had such a
grave mental illness that prevented her from assuming the essential
obligations of marriage.

As it is worded, Article 26, paragraph 2, refers to a special situation

wherein one of the couple getting married is a Filipino citizen and the other a
foreigner at the time the marriage was celebrated. By its plain and literal
interpretation, the said provision cannot be applied to the case of respondent
Crasus and his wife Fely because at the time Fely obtained her divorce, she
was still a Filipino citizen. Although the exact date was not established, Fely
herself admitted in her Answer filed before the RTC that she obtained a
divorce from respondent Crasus sometime after she left for the United States
in 1984, after which she married her American husband in 1985. In the same
Answer, she alleged that she had been an American citizen since 1988. At the
time she filed for divorce, Fely was still a Filipino citizen, and pursuant to the
nationality principle embodied in Article 15 of the Civil Code of the
Philippines, she was still bound by Philippine laws on family rights and
duties, status, condition, and legal capacity, even when she was already
living abroad. Philippine laws, then and even until now, do not allow and
recognize divorce between Filipino spouses. Thus, Fely could not have validly
obtained a divorce from respondent Crasus.

Bayot vs. CA
G.R. No. 155635 November 7, 2008

On April 20, 1979, Vicente, a Filipino, and Rebecca, an American, were

married in Muntinlupa. They had a child name Alix, born in November 27,
1982 in California.

In February 22, 1996, Rebecca initiated divorce proceedings in Dominican

Republic, which was docketed as Civil Decree No. 362/96 ordering the
dissolution of the marriage. The same court also issued Civil Decree No.
406/97 settling the couple's conjugal property in Muntinlupa in March 4,

She then filed a declaration of absolute nullity of marriage on the ground of

Vicente's alleged psychological incapacity, docketed as Civil Case No. 01-
094. She sought dissolution of the conjugal partnerships of gains with
application for support pendente lite for her and Alix. She also prayed
that Vicente be ordered to pay a permanent monthly support for their
daughter Alix in the amount of P 220,000.00.

On June 8, 2001, Vicente filed a Motion to Dismiss on the grounds of lack of

cause of action and that the petition is barred by the prior judgment of

RTC denied Vicente's motion to dismiss. CA dismissed Civil Case No. 01-094
and set aside RTC's incidental orders. According the the CA, RTC ought to
have granted Vicente's motion to dismiss, since the marriage between the
spouses is already dissolved when the divorce decree was granted since
Rebecca was an American citizen when she applied for the decree.

Whether or not the divorce decree obtained by Rebecca in Dominican
Republic is valid.


Yes. Civil Decrees No. 362/96 and 406/97 are valid.

Rebecca at that time she applied and obtained her divorce was an American
citizen and remains to be one, being born to American parents in Guam, an
American territory which follows the principle of jus soli granting American
citizenship to those who are born there. She was, and still may be, a holder of
American passport.
She had consistently professed, asserted and represented herself as an
American citizen, as shown in her marriage certificate, in Alix's birth
certificate, when she secured divorce in Dominican Republic.

Being an American citizen, Rebecca was bound by the national laws of the
United States of America, a country which allows divorce.

The Civil Decree No. 406/97 issued by the Dominican Republic court properly
adjudicated the ex-couple's property relations.

The Court said, in order that a foreign divorce can be recognized here, the
divorce decree must be proven as a fact and as valid under the national law of
the alien spouse.

The fact that Rebecca was clearly an American citizen when she secured the
divorce and that divorce is recognized and allowed in any of the States of the
Union, the presentation of a copy of foreign divorce decree duly authenticated
by the foreign court issuing said decree is, as here, sufficient.

Thus the foreign decrees rendered and issued by the Dominican Republic
court are valid, and consequently, bind both Rebecca and Vicente.

The fact that Rebecca may have been duly recognised as a Filipino citizen by
force of the June 8, 2000 affirmation by the DOJ Secretary of the October 6,
1995 Bureau Order of Recognition will not, stand alone, work to nullify or
invalidate the foreign divorce secured by Rebecca as an American citizen in
1996. In determining whether or not a divorce is secured abroad would come
within the pale of the country's policy against absolute divorce, the reckoning
point is the citizenship of the parties at the time a valid divorce is obtained.

Fujiki v Marinay




Petitioner Minoru Fujiki (Fujiki) is a Japanese national who married

respondent Maria Paz Galela Marinay (Marinay) in the Philippines on 23
January 2004. The marriage did not sit well with petitioner’s parents. Thus,
Fujiki could not bring his wife to Japan where he resides. Eventually, they
lost contact with each other.

In 2008, Marinay met another Japanese, Shinichi Maekara (Maekara).

Without the first marriage being dissolved, Marinay and Maekara were
married on 15 May 2008 in Quezon City, Philippines. Maekara brought
Marinay to Japan. However, Marinay allegedly suffered physical abuse from
Maekara. She left Maekara and started to contact Fujiki.

Fujiki and Marinay met in Japan and they were able to reestablish their
relationship. In 2010, Fujiki helped Marinay obtain a judgment from a family
court in Japan which declared the marriage between Marinay and Maekara
void on the ground of bigamy. On 14 January 2011, Fujiki filed a petition in
the RTC entitled: “Judicial Recognition of Foreign Judgment (or Decree of
Absolute Nullity of Marriage).”


(1) RTC: dismissed the petition for "Judicial Recognition of Foreign Judgment
·(or Decree of Absolute Nullity of Marriage)" based on improper venue and
the lack of personality of petitioner, Minoru Fujiki, to file the petition.


(1) Whether the Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages

and Annulment of Voidable Marriages (A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC) is applicable.

No. Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages and

Annulment of Voidable Marriages (A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC) does not apply in a
petition to recognize a foreign judgment relating to the status of a marriage
where one of the parties is a citizen of a foreign country. Moreover, in
Juliano-Llave v. Republic, this Court held that the rule in A.M. No. 02- 11-10-
SC that only the husband or wife can file a declaration of nullity or
annulment of marriage “does not apply if the reason behind the petition is
bigamy.” While the Philippines has no divorce law, the Japanese Family
Court judgment is fully consistent with Philippine public policy, as bigamous
marriages are declared void from the beginning under Article 35(4) of the
Family Code. Bigamy is a crime under Article 349 of the Revised Penal Code.
Thus, Fujiki can prove the existence of the Japanese Family Court judgment
in accordance with Rule 132, Sections 24 and 25, in relation to Rule 39,
Section 48(b) of the Rules of Court.

(2) Whether a husband or wife of a prior marriage can file a petition to

recognize a foreign judgment nullifying the subsequent marriage between his
or her spouse and a foreign citizen on the ground of bigamy.

Yes. “[t]he recognition of the foreign divorce decree may be made in a Rule
108 proceeding itself, as the object of special proceedings (such as that in
Rule 108 of the Rules of Court) is precisely to establish the status or right of a
party or a particular fact.”
Rule 108, Section 1 of the Rules of Court states:

Sec. 1. Who may file petition. — Any person interested in any act, event,
order or decree concerning the civil status of persons which has been recorded
in the civil register, may file a verified petition for the cancellation or
correction of any entry relating thereto, with the Regional Trial Court of the
province where the corresponding civil registry is located. (Emphasis

There is no doubt that the prior spouse has a personal and material interest
in maintaining the integrity of the marriage he contracted and the property
relations arising from it.

(3) Whether the Regional Trial Court can recognize the foreign judgment in a
proceeding for cancellation or correction of entries in the Civil Registry under
Rule 108 of the Rules of Court.

Yes. There is neither circumvention of the substantive and procedural

safeguards of marriage under Philippine law, nor of the jurisdiction of Family
Courts under R.A. No. 8369. A recognition of a foreign judgment is not an
action to nullify a marriage. It is an action for Philippine courts to recognize
the effectivity of a foreign judgment, which presupposes a case which was
already tried and decided under foreign law.

In the recognition of foreign judgments, Philippine courts are incompetent to

substitute their judgment on how a case was decided under foreign law. They
cannot decide on the “family rights and duties, or on the status, condition and
legal capacity” of the foreign citizen who is a party to the foreign judgment.
Thus, Philippine courts are limited to the question of whether to extend the
effect of a foreign judgment in the Philippines.

In a foreign judgment relating to the status of a marriage involving a citizen

of a foreign country, Philippine courts only decide whether to extend its effect
to the Filipino party, under the rule of lex nationalii expressed in Article 15
of the Civil Code.

For this purpose, Philippine courts will only determine (1) whether the
foreign judgment is inconsistent with an overriding public policy in the
Philippines; and (2) whether any alleging party is able to prove an extrinsic
ground to repel the foreign judgment, i.e. want of jurisdiction, want of notice
to the party, collusion, fraud, or clear mistake of law or fact. If there is
neither inconsistency with public policy nor adequate proof to repel the
judgment, Philippine courts should, by default, recognize the foreign
judgment as part of the comity of nations.



G.R. No. 133778 March 14,
Pepito Niñal was married to Teodulfa Bellones on September 26, 1974.
Out of their 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, Pepito and respondent Norma Badayog
got married without any marriage license. In lieu thereof, Pepito and Norma
executed an affidavit dated December 11, 1986 stating that they had lived
together as husband and wife for at least five years and were thus exempt
from securing a marriage license. On February 19, 1997, Pepito died in a car
accident. After their father's 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 a marriage license. The case was filed under the
assumption that the validity or invalidity of the second marriage would affect
petitioner's successional rights. Norma 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.

a) Whether or not the second marriage is covered by the exception to the
requirement of a Marriage license?
b) Whether or not the petitioners have the personality to file a petition to
declare their father’s marriage void after his death?

The second marriage involved in this case is not covered by the
exception to the requirement of a marriage license, it is void ab initio because
of the absence of such element. In this case, at the time of Pepito and
respondent's marriage, it cannot be said that they have lived with each other
as husband and wife for at least five years prior to their wedding day. From
the time Pepito's first marriage was dissolved to the time of his marriage
with respondent, only about twenty months had elapsed. Even assuming that
Pepito and his first wife had separated in fact, and thereafter both Pepito and
respondent had started living with each other that has already lasted for five
years, the fact remains that their five-year period cohabitation was not the
cohabitation contemplated by law. It should be in the nature of a perfect
union that is valid under the law but rendered imperfect only by the absence
of the marriage contract. Pepito had a subsisting marriage at the time when
he started cohabiting with respondent. It 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 actual
severance of the filial companionship between the spouses cannot make any
cohabitation by either spouse with any third party as being one as "husband
and wife". Only the parties to a voidable marriage can assail it but any
proper interested party may attack a void marriage. Void marriages have no
legal effects except those declared by law concerning the properties of the
alleged spouses, regarding co-ownership or ownership through actual joint
contribution, and its effect on the children born to such void marriages as
provided in Article 50 in relation to Article 43 and 44 as well as Article 51, 53
and 54 of the Family Code. On the contrary, the property regime governing
voidable marriages is generally conjugal partnership and the children
conceived before its annulment is legitimate.

Republic of the Philippines vs Jose A. Dayot

GR No. 175581 March 28, 2008

Fact of the Case:

On November 24, 1986 Jose and Felisa Dayot were married at the Pasay City
Hall. In lieu of a marriage license, they executed a sworn affidavit attesting
that both of them are legally capacitated and that they cohabited for at least
five years when in fact they only barely known each other since February
1986. On 1993, Jose filed a complaint for Annulment and/or Declaration of
Nullity of Marriage contending that their marriage was sham, as to no
ceremony was celebrated between them; that he did not execute the sworn
statement that he and Felisa had cohabited for at least five years; and that
his consent was secured through fraud. His sister, however, testified as
witness that Jose voluntarily gave his consent during their marriage. The
complaint was dismissed on Regional Trial Court stating that Jose is deemed
estopped from assailing the legality of his marriage for lack of marriage
license. It is claimed that Jose and Felisa had lived together from 1986 to
1990, and that it took Jose seven years before he sought the declaration of
nullity; The RTC ruled that Jose’s action had prescribe. It cited Art 87 of the
New Civil Code, which requires that the action for annulment must be
commenced by the injured party within four years after the discovery of
fraud. Jose appealed to the Court of Appeals which rendered a decision
declaring their marriage void ab initio for absence of marriage license. Felisa
sought a petition for review praying that the Court of Appeal’s Amended
decision be reversed and set aside.


(1) Whether the falsity of an affidavit of marital cohabitation, where the

parties have in truth fallen short of the minimum five-year requirement.,
effectively renders the marriage voib an initio for lack of marriage.

(2) Whether or not the action for nullity prescribes as the case here where
Jose filed a complaint after seven years from contracting marriage.


1)Yes. The intendment of law or fact leans towards the validity of marriage,
will not salvage the parties’ marriage, and extricate them from the effect of a
violation of the law. The Court protects the fabric of the institution of
marriage and at the same time wary of deceptive schemes that violate the
legal measures set forth in the law. The case cannot fall under irregularity of
the marriage license, what happens here is an absence of marriage license
which makes their marriage void for lack of one of the essential requirement
of a valid marriage.

(2) No. An action for nullity is imprescriptible. Jose and Felisa’s marriage
was celebrated san a marriage license. The right to impugn a void marriage
does not prescribe.


Office of the Court Administrator v. Judge Necessario (A.M. No. MTJ-07-

1691, April 2, 2013)

Due to an administrative case filed on July 6, 2007, the Office of the Court
Administrator (OCA) formed a judicial audit team that investigated on
irregularities in the solemnization of marriages in several MTCs and RTCs in
Cebu. The head of the audit team created went undercover with another
lawyer to see if the allegations were true that there were fixers or facilitators
offering package fees to parties who would like to apply for marriage. After
their interviews and investigation, the OCA recommended the dismissal of
the following judges and court employees generally for gross neglect of duty
due to the following circumstances:

Judge Necessario - solemnized marriages with questionable

documents even where one of the contracting parties (foreigner)
submitted an affidavit instead of a certificate of legal capacity from his
embassy; and under Art. 34 (one of the contracting parties was a minor
during cohabitation) 

Judge Acosta – failed to make sure that solemnization fee

has been paid and also solemnized a marriage under Art. 34 

Judge Rosales – failed to make sure the solemnization fee

has been paid and solemnized marriage between foreigner who only
submitted an affidavit; also solemnized a marriage without the
marriage license 

Judge Tormis – solemnized marriages with questionable

documents; failed to make sure solemnization fee has been paid;
solemnized marriage between foreigner who only submitted an
affidavit; solemnized marriage with expired marriage license. 

Helen Monggaya – violated Sec. 2, Canon 1 of the Code of

Conduct for Court Personnel – prohibition from soliciting any gifts and
for giving false information for the purpose of perpetrating an irregular

Rhona Rodriguez – violated Sec. 2, Canon 1 by

participating in the collection of an agreed upon additional fee to
process the documents, and in one case, received 4,000 pesos to
facilitate an irregular marriage 

Desiderio Aranas and Rebecca Alesna – provided couples

who are to be married under Art. 34 with the required affidavit of
cohabitation even if one or both of them were minors during

Celeste Retuya, Emma Valencia, Rebecca Alesna – violated
Sec. 2 (b), Canon 3 of the Code of Conduct of Court Personnel because
they received tips in assisting parties engaged in the transactions with
the Judiciary. Also, they effectively screened all documents before
submitting them to the judges. 

However, OCA recommended the dismissal of complaints

against Judge Econg, Corazon Retuya and Marilou Cabañez for lack of

Art. 34. No license shall be necessary for the marriage of a

man and a woman who have lived together as husband and wife for at
least five years and without any legal impediment to marry each other.
The contracting parties shall state the foregoing facts in an affidavit
before any person 


WON the Judges and personnel of Cebu MTCC and RTC are guilty of gross
ignorance of the law, gross neglect of duty, or gross inefficiency and gross


YES. Judges Necessario, Acosta, Romis and Rosales are guilty of gross
inefficiency or neglect of 

Neglect of duty, as defined in Rodrigo-Ebron vs. Adolfo, is the ―failure to give

one’s attention to a task expected of him and it is gross when, from the
gravity of the offense or the frequency of instances, the offense is so serious in
its character as to endanger or threaten public welfare”.

This is reflected in the evidence submitted: Documents showed evidences of

tampering, absence of receipts to show that solemnization fees were paid,
documents submitted by the parties showed irregularities, testimonies were
made regarding solemnization of marriages without licenses, among others.
It was held that the “actions of the judges have raised a very alarming issue
regarding the validity of the marriages they solemnized” as, for instance,
absence of a marriage license would render a marriage void pursuant to Art.
4 of the Family Code.

SC dismissed the argument of the respondents that it was beyond the scope
of duty of the solemnizing officer to check the validity of the marriage
pursuant to People vs. Jansen. 

Court finds respondents guilty, orders the dismissal of the judges and
employees from service.

The SC through Navarro vs. Domagtoy, established that: ―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 layman”. Employees
are also held liable as established in Villaceran vs. Rosete, which said ―Court
personnel, from the lowliest employee, are involved in the dispensation of
justice... these court personnel serve as sentinels of justice and any act of
impropriety on their part immeasurable affect the honor and dignity of the


GR No. 141528 October 31, 2006

On October 24, 1995, petitioner Oscar P. Mallion filed a petition1 with the Regional Trial Court
(RTC), Branch 29, of San Pablo City seeking a declaration of nullity of his marriage to respondent
Editha Alcantara under Article 36 of Executive Order No. 209, as amended, otherwise known as
the Family Code, citing respondent’s alleged psychological incapacity. The case was docketed as
Civil Case No. SP 4341-95. After trial on the merits, the RTC denied the petition in a
decision2 dated November 11, 1997 upon the finding that petitioner "failed to adduce
preponderant evidence to warrant the grant of the relief he is seeking."3 The appeal filed with
the Court of Appeals was likewise dismissed in a resolution4 dated June 11, 1998 for failure of
petitioner to pay the docket and other lawful fees within the reglementary period.

After the decision in Civil Case No. SP 4341-95 attained finality, petitioner filed on July 12, 1999
another petition5for declaration of nullity of marriage with the RTC of San Pablo City, this time
alleging that his marriage with respondent was null and void due to the fact that it was
celebrated without a valid marriage license. For her part, respondent filed an answer with a
motion to dismiss6 dated August 13, 1999, praying for the dismissal of the petition on the
ground of res judicata and forum shopping.

In an order7 dated October 8, 1999, the RTC granted respondent’s motion to dismiss, the
dispositive portion of which reads:

WHEREFORE, for Forum Shopping and Multiplicity of Suits, the Motion to Dismiss is


Petitioner’s motion for reconsideration was also denied in an order9 dated January 21, 2000.

Hence, this petition

Petitioner argues that while the relief prayed for in the two cases was the same, that is, the
declaration of nullity of his marriage to respondent, the cause of action in the earlier case was
distinct and separate from the cause of action in the present case because the operative facts
upon which they were based as well as the evidence required to sustain either were different.
Because there is no identity as to the cause of action, petitioner claims that res judicata does not
lie to bar the second petition. In this connection, petitioner maintains that there was no violation
of the rule on forum shopping or of the rule which proscribes the splitting of a cause of action.

On the other hand, respondent, in her comment dated May 26, 2000, counters that while the
present suit is anchored on a different ground, it still involves the same issue raised in Civil Case
No. SP 4341-95, that is, the validity of petitioner and respondent’s marriage, and prays for the
same remedy, that is, the declaration of nullity of their marriage. Respondent thus contends that
petitioner violated the rule on forum shopping. Moreover, respondent asserts that petitioner
violated the rule on multiplicity of suits as the ground he cites in this petition could have been
raised during the trial in Civil Case No. SP 4341-95.

Does a previous final judgment denying a petition for declaration of nullity
on the ground of psychological incapacity bar a subsequent petition for declaration
of nullity on the grounds of lack of marriage license?

The contention is untenable.

Res judicata applies.

Mallion is simply invoking different grounds for the same cause of action,
which is the nullity of marriage. When the second case was filed based on another
ground, there is a splitting of a cause of action which is prohibited. He is estopped
from asserting that the first marriage had no marriage license because in the first
case he impliedly admitted the same when he did not question the absence of
a marriage license.

Res judicata is defined as "a matter adjudged; a thing judicially acted upon or decided; a thing or
matter settled by judgment. It also refers to the rule that a final judgment or decree on the
merits by a court of competent jurisdiction is conclusive of the rights of the parties or their
privies in all later suits on points and matters determined in the former suit."11

This doctrine is a rule which pervades every well-regulated system of jurisprudence and is
founded upon the following precepts of common law, namely: (1) public policy and necessity,
which makes it to the interest of the State that there should be an end to litigation, and (2) the
hardship on the individual that he should be vexed twice for the same cause. A contrary doctrine
would subject the public peace and quiet to the will and neglect of individuals and prefer the
gratification of the litigious disposition on the part of suitors to the preservation of the public
tranquility and happiness.12

In this jurisdiction, the concept of res judicata is embodied in Section 47 (b) and (c) of Rule 39 of
the Rules of Court.

It must be emphasized that a party cannot evade or avoid the application of res judicata by
simply varying the form of his action or adopting a different method of presenting his case. 19 As
this Court stated in Perez v. Court of Appeals:20

x x x the statement of a different form of liability is not a different cause of action,

provided it grows out of the same transaction or act and seeks redress for the wrong.
Two actions are not necessarily for different causes of action simply because the theory
of the second would not have been open under the pleadings in the first. A party cannot
preserve the right to bring a second action after the loss of the first merely by having
circumscribed and limited theories of recovery opened by the pleadings in the first.

It bears stressing that a party cannot divide the grounds for recovery. A plaintiff is
mandated to place in issue in his pleading, all the issues existing when the suit
began. A lawsuit cannot be tried piecemeal. The plaintiff is bound to set forth in
his first action every ground for relief which he claims to exist and upon which he
relied, and cannot be permitted to rely upon them by piecemeal in successive
action to recover for the same wrong or injury.
A party seeking to enforce a claim, legal or equitable, must present to the court,
either by the pleadings or proofs, or both, on the grounds upon which to expect a
judgment in his favor. He is not at liberty to split up his demands, and prosecute it
by piecemeal or present only a portion of the grounds upon which a special relief
is sought and leave the rest to the presentment in a second suit if the first fails.
There would be no end to litigation if such piecemeal presentation is
allowed. (Citations omitted.)

In sum, litigants are provided with the options on the course of action to take in order to obtain
judicial relief. Once an option has been taken and a case is filed in court, the parties must
ventilate all matters and relevant issues therein. The losing party who files another action
regarding the same controversy will be needlessly squandering time, effort and financial
resources because he is barred by law from litigating the same controversy all over again.
Cojuangco vs. Palma; grossly immoral conduct


Eduardo M. Cojuangco, Jr. filed a complaint for disbarment against Atty. Leo J. Palma,
alleging as grounds “deceit, malpractice, gross misconduct in office, violation of his oath as a
lawyer and grossly immoral conduct.”

Respondent Palma [from ACCRA Law Office] was employed by petitioner as his personal
counsel. Respondent's excellence in managing petitioner's legal affairs, prompted petitioner
to introduced respondent to his family. Since respondent gained the trust of petitioner and
his family, their relationship became intimate. Respondent then was allowed to tutor the 22
year old daughter of Petitioner.

However, when his concern was supposed to be complainant’s legal affairs only, he
sneaked at the latter’s back and courted his daughter. Like the proverbial thief in the night,
he attacked when nobody was looking. He succeeded in misrepresenting himself to Hong
Kong officials as a bachelor and successfully married petitioner's daughter, even though he
is legally married.

Respondent argued that, he cannot be punished since there is no allegation that he acted
with “wanton recklessness, lack of skill or ignorance of the law” in serving
complainant’s interest. Anent the charge of grossly immoral conduct, he stressed that he
married complainant’s daughter with “utmost sincerity and good faith” and that “it is
contrary to the natural course of things for an immoral man to marry the woman he
sincerely loves.”


Whether or not respondent's acts constitutes gross immoral conduct so as to warrant his
disbarment from the legal profession.

Yes, the Court ruled respondent's action constitutes gross immoral conduct. A gross
immoral conduct, the Court said, is a conduct which is willful, flagrant, or shameless, and
which shows a moral indifference to the opinion of the good and respectable members of
the community. Thus, measured against this definition, respondent’s act is manifestly
immoral. First, he abandoned his lawful wife and three children. Second, he lured an
innocent young woman into marrying him. And third, he misrepresented himself as a
“bachelor” so he could contract marriage in a foreign land.

In particular, adds the Court, "he made a mockery of marriage which is a sacred
institution demanding respect and dignity. His act of contracting a second marriage is
contrary to honesty, justice, decency and morality." Moreover, the circumstances here speak
of a clear case of betrayal of trust and abuse of confidence. It was respondent’s closeness to
the complainant’s family as well as the latter’s complete trust in him that made possible his
intimate relationship with Lisa. When his concern was supposed to be complainant’s legal
affairs only, he sneaked at the latter’s back and courted his daughter. Like the proverbial
thief in the night, he attacked when nobody was looking. Moreover, he availed of
complainant’s resources by securing a plane ticket from complainant’s office in order to
marry the latter’s daughter in Hongkong. He did this without complainant’s knowledge.

The Court stressed again the principle that law profession does not prescribe a dichotomy
of standards among its members. There is no distinction as to whether the transgression is
committed in the lawyer’s professional capacity or in his private life. This is because a
lawyer may not divide his personality so as to be an attorney at one time and a mere citizen
at another. Thus, not only his professional activities but even his private life, insofar as the
latter may reflect unfavorably upon the good name and prestige of the profession and the
courts, may at any time be the subject of inquiry on the part of the proper authorities.

Respondent cannot rely on complainant's admission that he is a good lawyer, because

professional competency alone does not make a lawyer a worthy member of the Bar. Good
moral character is always an indispensable requirement.

In sum, respondent committed grossly immoral conduct and violation of his oath as a
lawyer. The penalty of one (1) year suspension recommended by the IBP is not
commensurate to the gravity of his offense. The bulk of jurisprudence supports the
imposition of the extreme penalty of disbarment.
G.R. No. 119190 January 16, 1997

Sometime on May 22, 1988, the plaintiff married the defendant at the Manila
Cathedral, Intramuros Manila, as evidenced by their Marriage Contract. After the
celebration of their marriage and wedding reception at the South Villa, Makati, they
went and proceeded to the house of defendant's mother. In an effort to have their
honeymoon in a private place where they can enjoy together during their first week
as husband and wife, they went to Baguio City. But, they did so together with her
mother, an uncle, his mother and his nephew. They were all invited by the defendant
to join them. They stayed in Baguio City for four (4) days. But, during this period,
there was no sexual intercourse between them, since the defendant avoided her by
taking a long walk during siesta time or by just sleeping on a rocking chair located at
the living room. They slept together in the same room and on the same bed since
May 22, 1988 until March 15, 1989. But during this period, there was no attempt of
sexual intercourse between them.

She claims, that she did not: even see her husband's private parts nor did he
see hers. Because of this, they submitted themselves for medical examinations to Dr.
Eufemio Macalalag, a urologist at the Chinese General Hospital, on January 20, 1989.
The results of their physical examinations were that she is healthy, normal and still
a virgin, while that of her husband's examination was kept confidential up to this
time. While no medicine was prescribed for her, the doctor prescribed medications
for her husband which was also kept confidential. No treatment was given to her.
For her husband, he was asked by the doctor to return but he never did.

The plaintiff claims, that the defendant is impotent, a closet homosexual as he

did not show his penis. She said, that she had observed the defendant using an
eyebrow pencil and sometimes the cleansing cream of his mother. And that,
according to her, the defendant married her, a Filipino citizen, to acquire or
maintain his residency status here in the country and to publicly maintain the
appearance of a normal man.

In open Court, the Trial Prosecutor manifested that there is no collusion

between the parties and that the evidence is not fabricated. "After trial, the court
rendered judgment, the dispositive portion of which reads: ACCORDINGLY,
judgment is hereby rendered declaring as void. On appeal, the Court of Appeals
affirmed the trial court's decision. Hence, the instant petition.

Whether or not the CA erred in holding that the refusal of private respondent
to have sexual communion with petitioner is a psychological incapacity inasmuch as
proof thereof is totally absent.

The Supreme Court finds the petition to be bereft of merit. The case has
reached this Court because petitioner does not want their marriage to be annulled.
This only shows that there is no collusion between the parties. When petitioner
admitted that he and his wife (private respondent) have never had sexual contact
with each other, he must have been only telling the truth. Appellant admitted that he
did not have sexual relations with his wife after almost ten months of cohabitation,
and it appears that he is not suffering from any physical disability. Such abnormal
reluctance or unwillingness to consummate his marriage is strongly indicative of a
serious personality disorder which to the mind of this Court clearly demonstrates an
'utter insensitivity or inability to give meaning and significance to the marriage'
within the meaning of Article 36 of the Family Code.

First, it must be stated that neither the trial court nor the respondent court
made a finding on who between petitioner and private respondent refuses to have
sexual contact with the other. The fact remains, however, that there has never been
coitus between them. At any rate, since the action to declare the marriage void may
be filed by either party, i.e., even the psychologically incapacitated, the question of
who refuses to have sex with the other becomes immaterial.If a spouse, although
physically capable but simply refuses to perform his or her essential marriage
obligations, and the refusal is senseless and constant, Catholic marriage tribunals
attribute the causes to psychological incapacity than to stubborn refusal. Senseless
and protracted refusal is equivalent to psychological incapacity. Thus, the prolonged
refusal of a spouse to have sexual intercourse with his or her spouse is considered a
sign of psychological incapacity.

Evidently, one of the essential marital obligations under the Family Code is
"To procreate children based on the universal principle that procreation of children
through sexual cooperation is the basic end of marriage." Constant non- fulfillment
of this obligation will finally destroy the integrity or wholeness of the marriage. In
the case at bar, the senseless and protracted refusal of one of the parties to fulfill the
above marital obligation is equivalent to psychological incapacity.

While the law provides that the husband and the wife are obliged to live
together, observe mutual love, respect and fidelity (Art. 68, Family Code), the
sanction therefor is actually the "spontaneous, mutual affection between husband
and wife and not any legal mandate or court order" (Cuaderno vs. Cuaderno 120
Phil. 1298). Love is useless unless it is shared with another. Indeed, no man is an
island, the cruelest act of a partner in marriage is to say "I could not have cared
less." This is so because an ungiven self is an unfulfilled self. The egoist has nothing
but himself. In the natural order, it is sexual intimacy which brings spouses
wholeness and oneness. Sexual intimacy is a gift and a participation in the mystery
of creation. It is a function which enlivens the hope of procreation and ensures the
continuation of family relations.

It appears that there is absence of empathy between petitioner and private

respondent. That is — a shared feeling which between husband and wife must be
experienced not only by having spontaneous sexual intimacy but a deep sense of
spiritual communion. Marital union is a two-way process. An expressive interest in
each other's feelings at a time it is needed by the other can go a long way in
deepening the marital relationship. Marriage is definitely not for children but for
two consenting adults who view the relationship with love amor gignit amorem,
respect, sacrifice and a continuing commitment to compromise, conscious of its
value as a sublime social institution.
This Court, finding the gravity of the failed relationship in which the parties found
themselves trapped in its mire of unfulfilled vows and unconsummated marital
obligations, can do no less but sustain the studied judgment of respondent appellate


G.R. No. 108763 February 13, 1997

On April 14, 1985, Roridel Olaviano Molina, respondent was married to
Reynaldo Molina at the Church of Saint Augustine, Manila. From their marriage was
borne a child named Albert Andre Olaviano Molina. After a year of marriage,
Reynaldo started exhibiting signs of “immaturity and irresponsibility”. He preferred
to spend more time with the company of his friends and peers on whom he
squandered money, he depended on his parents for aid and assistance, ;and he was
never honest with the family finances. These circumstances led to frequent quarrels
between the petitioner and respondent. In February 1986, Reynaldo was relieved of
his job in Manila, making Roridel the sole breadwinner.

On October 1986, they were both estranged from each other. In February
1986, Roridel moved back to Baguio with her parents and a few weeks later
Reynaldo abandoned Roridel and left Albert in her custody. Reynaldo admitted that
he and Roridel could no longer live together as husband and wife because of
Roridel’s strange behavior and insistence to leave his group of friends eve after their
marriage, Roridel’s refusal to perform some of her marital duties like cooking meals,
and Roridel’s failure to run the household and handle their finances. On May, 1991,
the Regional Trial Court of Baguio rendered judgment and declared the marriage
void. The Court of Appeals affirmed in toto the Regional Trial Court’s decision.

Whether or not “opposing and conflicting personalities” is equivalent to
psychological incapacity.


No. Psychological incapacity must be judged according to: (a) gravity, (b)
juridical antecedence, and (c) incurability. In this case, there was no clear showing
of the psychological incapacity but the mere showing of difficulty, refusal, neglect
and irreconcilable differences and conflicting personalities which do not constitute
psychological incapacity. In this case, it is not enough to prove that the parties failed
to meet their responsibilities and duties as married persons. Essentially, it must be
shown that they are incapable of doing so due to some psychological, not physical,
illness. Although there was evidence that the couple could not get along or are
incompatible with each other, there was no evidence of the gravity of the
psychological incapacity; neither its juridical antecedence nor incurability. Article
36 of the Family Code requires that the incapacity must be psychological, not

The following guidelines must be proved in invoking psychological

(1) The burden of proof to show nullity of the marriage lies in the
(2) The root cause of the psychological incapacity must be
a. Medically or clinically identified,
b. Alleged in the complaint,
c. Sufficiently proven by experts, and
d. Clearly explained in the decision.
(3) The incapacity must be proven to be existing at “the time of the
celebration” of the marriage.
(4) Such incapacity must also be shown to be medically or clinically
permanent or incurable.
(5) Such illness must be grave enough to bring about the disability of
the party to assume the essential obligations of marriage.
(6) The essential marital obligations must be those embraced by Articles
68 up to 71 of the Family Code as regards the husband and wife as
well as Articles 220, 221 and 225 of the same Code in regard to
parents and their children.
(7) Interpretations given by the National Appellate Matrimonial
Tribunal of the Catholic Church in the Philippines, while not
controlling or decisive, should be given great respect by our courts.
(8) The trial court must order the prosecuting attorney or fiscal and the
Solicitor General to appear as counsel for the state.


G.R. No. 136490 October 19, 2000

Petitioner Brenda B. Marcos and respondent Wilson G. Marcos married twice.
First was on September 6, 1982, with Judge Eriberto H. Espiritu as solemnizing
officer of the marriage held at the Municipal Court of Pasig and second was on May
8, 1983 by Rev. Eduardo L. Eleazar, Command Chaplain at the Presidential Security
Command Chapel in Malacañang Park, Manila. They were both military personnel.
They begot 5 (five) children. Wilson left military service in 1987 and started a
business that did not prosper. Brenda put up a business until she was able to put up
a trading and construction company. Their frequent quarrels stemmed from the
petitioner’s urges on respondent to be gainfully employed to convince their children
that their father, as the breadwinner, is the head of the family and a good provider.
Because of Wilson’s failure to provide for his family, he began beating the children
for slight mistakes and forcibly having sex with his already weary wife. The tipping
point was when they had a quarrel on October 16, 1994 when she did not want him
to stay in their house anymore. Wilson became violent and inflicted physical harm
on her and her mother. The following day, Brenda and her children sought refuge at
her sister’s house. On October 19, 1994, she was diagnosed with contusions from
the bitter quarrel. The Regional Trial Court found respondent to be psychologically
incapacitated. The Court of Appeals negated the Regional Trial Court’s ruling.

a) Whether or not personal medical or psychological evaluation is a
requirement for the declaration of psychological incapacity.
b) Whether or not the demeanor or behaviors of the respondents determine
psychological incapacity.

No. The guidelines in Santos and Molina do not require that a physician
examine the person to be declared psychologically incapacitated even if the root
cause be “medically or clinically identified”. What is most important is the presence
of evidence that can adequately establish the party’s psychological condition. If the
totality of evidence presented is enough to sustain a finding of psychological
incapacity, then actual medical examination is not necessary.

No. Although the respondent failed to provide material support to the family
and may have resorted to physical abuse and abandonment, these do not necessitate
psychological incapacity. The evidence presented do not zero in on the Santos and
Molina guidelines on psychological incapacity. The behaviors can be attributed to
the respondent’s loss of employment for a period of more than six years. It was from
this that he became intermittently drunk, failed to give material and moral support
and leave the family home. Therefore, his psychological incapacity can be traced to
this certain period and not before the marriage nor during the inception of the
marriage. Equally important, the condition was not proven to be incurable,
especially now that he is again gainfully employed as a taxi driver.


G.R. No. 109975 February 9,
On September 7, 1975, Erlinda Matias, 16 years old, married Avelino
Parangan Dagdag, 20 years old, at the Iglesia Filipina Independent Church in
Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija. The marriage certificate was issued by the Office of the Local
Civil Registrar of the Municipality of on October 20, 1988. Erlinda and Avelino begot
two children. The birth certificates were issued by the Office of the Local Civil
Registrar of the Municipality of Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija also on October 20, 1988. A
week after the wedding, Avelino started leaving his family without explanation. He
would disappear for months, suddenly re-appear for a few months, and then
disappear again. During the times when he was with his family, he indulged in
drinking sprees with friends and would return home drunk. He would force his wife
to submit to sexual intercourse and if she refused, he would inflict physical injuries
to her.

In October 1993, he left his family again and that was the last that they heard
from him. Erlinda learned that Avelino was imprisoned for some crime, and that he
escaped from jail and remains at large to-date. In July 1990, Erlinda filed with the
RTC of Olongapo City a petition for judicial declaration of nullity of marriage on the
ground of psychological incapacity. Since Avelino could not be located, summons
was served by publication in the Olongapo News, a newspaper of general
circulation. On the date set for presentation of evidence, only Erlinda and her
counsel appeared. Erlinda testified and presented her sister-in-law as her only

The trial court issued an Order giving the investigating prosecutor until
January 2, 1991 to manifest in writing whether or not he would present
controverting evidence, and stating that should he fail to file said manifestation, the
case would be deemed submitted for decision. The Investigating Prosecutor
conducted an investigation and found that there was no collusion between the

However, he intended to intervene in the case to avoid fabrication of

evidence. Without waiting for the investigating prosecutor’s manifestation, the trial
court declared the marriage of Erlinda and Avelino void under Article 36. The
investigating prosecutor filed a Motion to Set Aside Judgment on the ground that the
decision was prematurely rendered since he was given until January 2, 1991 to
manifest whether he was presenting controverting evidence. The Office of the
Solicitor General likewise filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the decision on the
ground that the same is not in accordance with the evidence and the law. Since the
trial court denied the Motion for Reconsideration, the Solicitor General appealed to
the CA. The CA affirmed the decision of the trial court holding that “Avelino Dagdag
is psychologically incapacitated not only because he failed to perform the duties and
obligations of a married person but because he is emotionally immature and
irresponsible, an alcoholic, and a criminal.”

Whether or not Avelino Dagdag is psychologically incapacitated.


Whether or not psychological incapacity exists in a given case calling for

annulment of a marriage, depends crucially, more than in any field of law,
on the facts of the case. Each case must be judged, not on the basis of a
priori assumptions, predilections or generalizations but according to its
own facts. In regard to psychological incapacity as a ground for annulment
of marriage, it is trite to say that no case is on “all fours” with another case.
The trial judge must take pains in examining the factual milieu and the
appellate court must, as much as possible, avoid substituting its own
judgment for that of the trial court.

In REPUBLIC VS. MOLINA (268 SCRA 198), the Court laid down the
GUIDELINES in the interpretation of Article 36 of the Family Code.

Taking into consideration these guidelines, it is evident that Erlinda failed

to comply with the above-mentioned evidentiary requirements. Erlinda
failed to comply with guideline number 2 which requires that the root cause
of psychological incapacity must be medically or clinically proven by
experts, since no psychiatrist or medical doctor testified as to the alleged
psychological incapacity of her husband. Further, the allegation that the
husband is a fugitive from justice was not sufficiently proven. In fact, the
crime for which he was arrested was not even alleged. The investigating
prosecutor was likewise not given an opportunity to present controverting
evidence since the trial court’s decision was prematurely rendered.

No. The ruling in Republic v. Court of Appeals and Molina case is

reiterated herein in which the Court laid down the following GUIDELINES
in the interpretation and application of Article 36 of the Family Code:

(1) The burden of proof to show the nullity of the marriage belongs to the

(2) The root cause of the psychological incapacity must be: (a) medically or
clinically 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 must be psychological - not physical,
although its manifestations and/or symptoms may be physical.
(3) The incapacity must be proven to be existing at “the time of the
celebration” of the marriage.

(4) Such incapacity must also be shown to be medically or clinically

permanent or incurable. Such incurability may be absolute or even relative
only in regard to the other spouse, not necessarily absolutely against
everyone of the same sex.

(5) Such illness must be grave enough to bring about the disability of the
party to assume the essential obligations of marriage.

(6) The essential marital obligations must be those embraced by Articles

68 up to 71 of the Family Code as regards the husband and wife as well as
Articles 220, 221 and 225 of the same Code in regard to parents and their

(7) Interpretations given by the National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal of

the Catholic Church in the Philippines, while not controlling or decisive,
should be given great respect by our courts.

(8) The trial court must order the prosecuting attorney or fiscal and the
Solicitor General to appear as counsel for the state.

Antonio vs. Reyes

GR No. 155800, March 10, 2006


Leonilo Antonio, 26 years of age, and Marie Ivonne Reyes, 36 years of age
met in 1989. Barely a year after their first meeting, they got married at
Manila City Hall and then a subsequent church wedding at Pasig in
December 1990. A child was born but died 5 months later. Reyes
persistently lied about herself, the people around her, her occupation, income,
educational attainment and other events or things. She even did not conceal
bearing an illegitimate child, which she represented to her husband as
adopted child of their family. They were separated in August 1991 and after
attempt for reconciliation, he finally left her for good in November 1991.
Petitioner then filed in 1993 a petition to have his marriage with Reyes
declared null and void anchored in Article 36 of the Family Code.

ISSUE: Whether Antonio can impose Article 36 of the Family Code as basis
for declaring their marriage null and void.


Psychological incapacity pertains to the inability to understand the

obligations of marriage as opposed to a mere inability to comply with them.
The petitioner, aside from his own testimony presented a psychiatrist and
clinical psychologist who attested that constant lying and extreme jealousy of
Reyes is abnormal and pathological and corroborated his allegations on his
wife’s behavior, which amounts to psychological incapacity. Respondent’s
fantastic ability to invent, fabricate stories and letters of fictitious characters
enabled her to live in a world of make-believe that made her psychologically
incapacitated as it rendered her incapable of giving meaning and significance
to her marriage. The root causes of Reyes’ psychological incapacity have been
medically or clinically identified that was sufficiently proven by experts. The
gravity of respondent’s psychological incapacity was considered so grave that
a restrictive clause was appended to the sentence of nullity prohibited by the
National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal from contracting marriage without
their consent. It would be difficult for an inveterate pathological liar to
commit the basic tenets of relationship between spouses based on love, trust
and respect. Furthermore, Reyes’ case is incurable considering that
petitioner tried to reconcile with her but her behavior remain unchanged.

Hence, the court conclude that petitioner has established his cause of action
for declaration of nullity under Article 36 of the Family Code.



On August 19, 1996, Orlando filed before the RTC of Makati City a verified
petition for the declaration of nullity of his marriage with Filipinas on the
ground that the latter is psychologically incapacitated to comply with her
essentialmarital obligations. Orlando Tongol alleged that Filipinas
wasunable to perform her duty as a wife because of Filipinas unbearable
attitude that will lead to their constant quarrel. In her Answer with Counter-
Petition, Filipinas admited that efforts at reconciliation have been fruitless
and that their marriage is a failure. However, she claims that their marriage
failed because it is Orlando's insufficiency to fulfill his obligation as married
man. Both paties underwent a psychological exam which proved that the
respondentFilipinas Tongol has a psychological insufficiency.

ISSUE:Does the psychological problem of of Mrs. Filipina Tongol enough to

compel the court to nullify their marriage?

Ruling: No, as elucidated in Molina the psychological incapacity must exist

during the ceremony of the marriage, the psychological incapacity must be
apparent as to the extent that the other party is uncapable the significance of
their marriage and lastly, the malady must be incurable. The definition or
manifestation of marriage must within the scope of article 36 of the Family
Code. As in the present case, the psychological insufficiency of Mrs tongol is
not severe that would render her incapable of recognize the sanctity of her
marital contractwith her husband, second, Dr. vellegas ffailed to prove
thethat the ailment is incurable. As to the facts of the psychological
examination report say: the emotional malady iscused merely by rejection of
Mrs. Tongol by her mother when she was young. Further, the facts of the case
did not show thatMrs. Tongol did not care about the welfare of their children.
And the financial issue as being cited in the facts, the court deemed that such
phenomena is natural in evry marriage and can be settled easily. Hence the
court dismissed the petitionof the nullity of marriage.


556 SCRA 711 (2008)

Psychological incapacity must be characterized by utter insensitivity or

inability to give meaning and significance to the marriage.

Respondent Lynnette Baguio (Lynnette) and Martini Baguio (Martini), a

seaman working overseas, got married in 1997. The couple lived at Lynette‘s
parents. Martini stayed there only on weekends and during weekdays, he
stayed with his parents. Because of this, Lynette suggested that they lived
with Martini‘s parents but the latter disagreed.

Lynette later on noticed that every time the two of them talk, Martini would
always mention his mother and his family. She therafter realized that
Martini was a ―mama‘s boy.‖ On Martini‘s mother insistence, Martini‘s
money was equally divided between her and Lynette. In 1999, when Martini
returned from work, he stayed with his parents. Since then, Lynette had not
heard from Martini and stopped receiving her share of the allotment,
drawing her to inquire from Martini’s employer who told her that he had
already disembarked. Lynette soon found out that he was in Muntinlupa.

When Lynette and Martini finally met, he informed her that they should part
ways. The last time the two of them talked was at the airport when Martini
was about to depart for abroad. Since then, Martini never communicated
with Lynnette. On investigation, Lynnette learned that Martini declared in
his employment records that he is “single” and named his mother as principal
allottee. Hence, Lynette filed before Regional Trial Court of Cebu a
Complaint for the Declaration of Nullity of Marriage on the ground of
Martini‘s psychological incapacity to comply with essential marital duties
and obligations under Articles 68-70 of the Family Code. The RTC found that
Martini‘s being ―mama‘s boy‖ manifests his psychologically incapacity to
comply with the essential marital obligations of marriage, and that the same
incapacity existed at the time the couple exchanged their marriage vows.
The Solicitor General challenged the RTC‘s decision before the Court of
Appeals. The CA held that Lynette‘s oral deposition and the Psychological
Evaluation Report of Dr. Gerong, a clinical psychologist, declaring Martini‘s
psychological incapacity was sufficient proof that indeed Martini suffers
psychological incapacity.


Whether or not CA erred in declaring the marriage between Lynette and

Martini null and void on the ground of latter‘s psychological incapacity


Article 36 of the Family Code on which Lynnette anchors her complaint

provides that “[a] marriage contracted by any party who, at the time of the
celebration, was psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential
marital obligations of marriage, shall likewise be void even if such incapacity
becomes manifest only after its solemnization.”

Article 36 must be read in conjunction with the other articles in the Family
Code, specifically Articles 35, 37, 38, and 41 which provide different grounds
to render a marriage void ab initio, as well as Article 45 which dwell on
voidable marriages, and Article 55 on legal separation. Care must be
observed so that these various circumstances are not to be applied
indiscriminately as if the law were indifferent on the matter. And Article 36
should not be confused with a divorce law that cuts the marital bond at the
time the causes therefore manifest themselves, nor with legal separation in
which the grounds need not be rooted in psychological incapacity but on
physical violence, moral pressure, moral corruption, civil interdiction, drug
addiction, habitual alcoholism, sexual infidelity, abandonment, and the like.
“Psychological incapacity” has been elucidated on as follows: The term
“psychological incapacity” to be a ground for the nullity of marriage under
Article 36 of the Family Code, refers to a serious psychological illness
afflicting a party even before the celebration 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 assume. As all people
may have certain quirks and idiosyncrasies, or isolated characteristics
associated with certain personality disorders, there is hardly a doubt that the
intendment of the law has been to confine the meaning of “psychological
incapacity” to the most serious cases of personality disorders clearly
demonstrative of an utter insensitivity or inability to give meaning and
significance to the marriage. The root cause must be identified as a
psychological illness, and its incapacitating nature must be fully explained
the mere showing of “irreconcilable differences” and “conflicting
personalities” does not constitute psychological incapacity nor does failure of
the parties to meet their responsibilities and duties as married persons. It is
essential that the parties to a marriage must be shown to be insensitive to or
incapable of meeting their duties and responsibilities due to some
psychological (not physical) illness, which insensitivity or incapacity should
have been existing at the time of the celebration of the marriage even if it
becomes manifest only after its solemnization.

Here, Dr. Gerong found that Martini’s “personality disorders” including his
being a “mama’s boy” are “serious, grave, existing already during the
adolescent period and incurable” and concluded that Martini “appeared” to be
dependent upon his family and unable “to establish a domicile for his family
and to support his family.”

The doctor’s findings and conclusion were derived from his interview of
Lynnette and her sister and Lynnette’s deposition. From Lynnette’s
deposition, however, it is gathered that Martini’s failure to establish a
common life with her stems from his refusal, not incapacity, to do so. It is
downright incapacity, not refusal or neglect or difficulty, much less ill
will,which renders a marriage void on the ground of psychological incapacity.
In another vein, how the doctor arrived at the conclusion, after interviewing
Lynnette and considering her deposition, that any such personality disorders
of Martini have been existing since Martini’s adolescent years has not been

Halili v. Halili G.R. No. 165424 June 6, 2009


Petitioner Lester Halili filed a petition to declare his marriage to respondent

Chona Santos-Halili null and void on the basis of his psychological incapacity
to perform the essential obligations of marriage. He alleged that he wed
respondent in civil rites thinking that it was a joke. After the ceremonies,
they never lived together as husband and wife. However, they started
fighting constantly a year later, at which point petitioner decided to stop
seeing respondent and started dating other women. It was only upon making
an inquiry that he found out that the marriage was not "fake."

RTC found petitioner to be suffering from a mixed personality disorder, particularly

dependent and self-defeating personality disorder, as diagnosed by his expert witness, Dr.
Natividad Dayan. The court a quo held that petitioners personality disorder was serious
and incurable and directly affected his capacity to comply with his essential marital
obligations to respondent. It thus declared the marriage null and void.

On appeal, the CA reversed and set aside the decision of the trial court on the ground that
the totality of the evidence presented failed to establish petitioners psychological
incapacity. Petitioner moved for reconsideration. It was denied.

We affirmed the CAs decision and resolution upholding the validity of the

Petitioner then filed this motion for reconsideration reiterating his argument
that his marriage to respondent ought to be declared null and void on the basis of his
psychological incapacity. He stressed that the evidence he presented, especially the
testimony of his expert witness, was more than enough to sustain the findings and
conclusions of the trial court that he was and still is psychologically incapable of
complying with the essential obligations of marriage.

We grant the motion for reconsideration.


Whether or not his marriage to respondent ought to be declared null and void
on the basis of his psychological incapacity.


In the recent case of Te v. Yu-Te and the Republic of the Philippines, this
Court reiterated that courts should interpret the provision on psychological
incapacity on a case-to-case basis - guided by experience, the findings of
experts and researchers in psychological disciplines and by decisions of
church tribunals.

In Te, this Court defined dependent personality disorder characterized by a

pattern of dependent and submissive behavior. Such individuals usually lack
self-esteem and frequently belittle their capabilities; they fear criticism and
are easily hurt by others' comments.


Dr. Dayan traced petitioners personality disorder to his dysfunctional family

life, to wit:[

Q. And what might be the root cause of such psychological incapacity?

A. Sir, I mentioned awhile ago that Lesters family is

dysfunctional. The father was very abusive, very domineering. The
mother has been very unhappy and the children never had
affirmation. They might [have been] x x x given financial support
because the father was [a] very affluent person but it was never an
intact family. x x x The wife and the children were practically robots.
And so, I would say Lester grew up, not having self-confidence, very
immature and somehow not truly understand[ing] what [it] meant to
be a husband, what [it] meant to have a real family life.

Ultimately, Dr. Dayan concluded that petitioners personality disorder was

grave and incurable and already existent at the time of the celebration of his
marriage to respondent.

It has been sufficiently established that petitioner had a psychological condition

that was grave and incurable and had a deeply rooted cause. This Court, in the
same Te case, recognized that individuals with diagnosable personality
disorders usually have long-term concerns, and thus therapy may be long-term.
Particularly, personality disorders are long-standing, inflexible ways of
behaving that are not so much severe mental disorders as dysfunctional styles
of living. These disorders affect all areas of functioning and, beginning in
childhood or adolescence, create problems for those who display them and for

Dependent personality disorder usually begins in early adulthood.

Individuals who have this disorder may be unable to make everyday
decisions without advice or reassurance from others, may allow others to
make most of their important decisions (such as where to live), tend to agree
with people even when they believe they are wrong, have difficulty starting
projects or doing things on their own, volunteer to do things that are
demeaning in order to get approval from other people, feel uncomfortable or
helpless when alone and are often preoccupied with fears of being abandoned.

It has been sufficiently established that petitioner had a psychological

condition that was grave and incurable and had a deeply rooted cause. Based
on the foregoing, it has been shown that petitioner is indeed suffering from
psychological incapacity that effectively renders him unable to perform the
essential obligations of marriage and thus the Court declared the marriage
null and void.

Camacho-Reyes v. Reyes, G.R. No. 185286, Aug. 18, 2010

FACTS: Petitioner Maria Socorro Camacho-Reyes met respondent Ramon

Reyes at the UP Diliman, in 1972 when they were both 19 years old.
Petitioner enjoyed respondent’s style of courtship which included dining out,
unlike other couples their age who were restricted by a university student’s
budget. At that time, respondent held a job in the family business, the
Aristocrat Restaurant. Petitioner’s good impression of the respondent was not
diminished by the latter’s habit of cutting classes, not even by her discovery
that respondent was taking marijuana. On December 5, 1976, petitioner and
respondent got married. They lived with Ramon’s parents and they were
supported by them. They had a child which made their financial difficulties
worse. All the business ventures of Ramon were unsuccessful and Socorro
became the breadwinner of the family. To make things worse, despite the fact
that Socorro would undergo an operation for removal of a cyst, respondent
remained unconcerned and unattentive; and simply read the newspaper, and
played dumb when petitioner requested that he accompany her as she was
wheeled into the operating room. They tried to attend counseling sessions but
nothing has changed. Sometime in 1996, petitioner confirmed that
respondent was having an extra-marital affair. RTC granted the petition. CA
reversed. Hence, this petition.

ISSUE: W/N Ramon is psychologically incapacitated

HELD: Yes. Marriage is null and void. The lack of personal examination and
interview of the respondent, or any other person diagnosed with personality
disorder, does not per se invalidate the testimonies of the doctors. Neither do
their findings automatically constitute hearsay that would result in their
exclusion as evidence. In the instant case, respondent’s pattern of behavior
manifests an inability, nay, a psychological incapacity to perform the
essential marital obligations as shown by his: (1) sporadic financial support;
(2) extra-marital affairs; (3) substance abuse; (4) failed business attempts; (5)
unpaid money obligations; (6) inability to keep a job that is not connected
with the family businesses; and (7) criminal charges of estafa.

Jose Reynaldo B. Ochosa, petitioner vs

Bona J. Alano and Republic of the Philippines, respondents

G.R. No. 167459, January 26, 2011

Bona’s illicit affairs with other men started at the onset of their marriage on
October 27, 1973, when Jose was assigned in various parts of the country as
an officer in the AFP. She continued her infidelity even when they lived
together at Fort Bonifacio, Makati City sometime in 1985, whenever Jose was
out of their living quarters.

In 1987, Jose was incarcerated in Camp Crame for rebellion for the alleged
participation of the failed coup d’etat. He heard circulation of rumors of Bona
getting caught having sex with his driver, Corporal Gagarin.

He got a military pass from his jail warden and confronted Bona about the
rumors, which she and Gagarin admitted. Since then they were separated,
and their foundling, Ramona Celeste, stayed with Bona in Basilan until 1994
to live with Jose.

Jose Reynaldo B. Ochosa filed a Petition for the declaration of nullity of

marriage between him and Bona J. Alano, based on the ground of the latter’s
psychological incapacity to fulfill the essential marital obligations of

Elizabeth E. Rondain, a psychiatrist, one of the witnesses, testified and

submitted a psychological evaluation report on Bona’s mental state. The
interviews she had with Jose and two of his witnesses brought her to the
conclusion that respondent was suffering from histrionic personality disorder,
and it was traceable to her family history.

On January 11, 1999, the dispositive portion of the trial court declared the
marriage of Jose and Bona void ab initio on the ground of psychological
incapacity of the respondent under Article 36 of the Family Code. The Court
finds that Bona’s illness exhibited gravity, antecedence, and incurability.
OSG appealed the said ruling to the CA, and the CA subsequently granted
the appeal and reversed the ruling of the trial court decision.


Whether or not Bona should be deemed psychologically incapacitated to

comply with the essential marital obligations.


No. There is inadequate credible evidence that her defects were already
present at the inception of, or prior to, the marriage. Bona’s alleged
psychological incapacity did not satisfy the jurisprudential requisite of
“juridical antecedence”. Her persistent sexual infidelity and abandonment are
not badges of psychological incapacity nor can’t it be traced to the inception of
their marriage.

The psychiatrist’s conclusion about Bona’s HPD which made her prone to
promiscuity and sexual infidelity existed before her marriage to Jose, cannot
be taken as credible proof of antecedence since the method by which such an
inference was reached leaves much to be desired in terms of meeting the
standard of evidence required in determining psychological incapacity.

Dr. Rondain’s conclusion was based solely on the assumed truthful

knowledge of Jose. No other witness testified to Bona’s family history or her
behavior prior to or at the beginning of their marriage. The two witnesses
only started to live with them in 1980 and 1986, respectively.
Verily, Dr. Rondain evaluated Bona’s psychological condition directly from
the information gathered solely from Jose and his witnesses. These factual
circumstances evoke the possibility that the information fed to the
psychiatrists is tainted with bias for Jose’s cause, in the absence of sufficient

Article 36 of the Family Code is not to be confused with a divorce law that
cuts the marital bond at the time the causes therefore manifest themselves.
It refers to a serious psychological illness afflicting a party even before the
celebration 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 assume. These marital obligations are those provided
under Article 68 to 71, 220, 221 and 225 of the Family Code.

Mendoza v. Republic

G.R. No. 157649; November 12, 2012


Anabelle and Dominic met in 1989 upon his return to the country from his
employment in Papua New Guinea. After a month of courtship, they became
intimate and their intimacy led to her pregnancy. They got married 8 months
after on June 24, 1991. Being one with the fixed income, she shouldered all of
the family’s expenses. Ironically, he spent his first sales commission on a
celebratory bash with his friends. In September 1994, she discovered his
illicit affair with his co-employee and they started to sleep in separate rooms
affecting their sexual relationship. Dominic eventually got fired from his
employment and was criminally charged with the violation of B.P. 22 and


Is the marriage null and void on the basis of Article 36 of the Family Code?


The appeal has no merit. The CA correctly indicated that the ill-feelings that
the petitioner harbored against Dominic furnished the basis to doubt the
findings of the expert witness; that such findings were one-sided and that he
did not participate in the proceedings. The findings and conclusions on his
psychological profile were solely based on the self-serving testimonial
descriptions of him by the petitioner and her witnesses. The court finds the
totality of evidence adduced by the petitioner insufficient to prove that
Dominic was psychologically unfit. Accordingly, the RTC’s findings that
Dominic’s psychological incapacity was characterized by gravity, antecedence
and incurability could not stand scrutiny. His alleged immaturity,
deceitfulness and lack of remorse did not necessarily constitute psychological
incapacity. The court denies the petition for certiorari and affirms that
decision of the Court of Appeals.

CASE: Republic of the Philippines vs. Court of Appeals & Eduardo C. De Quintos, Jr.

Eduardo and Catalina were married on March 16, 1977 in civil rites solemnized by the
Municipal Mayor of Lingayen, Pangasinan. The couple was not blessed with a child due
to Catalina’s hysterectomy following her second miscarriage.

On April 6, 1998, Eduardo filed a petition for the declaration of nullity of their marriage,
citing Catalina’s psychological incapacity to comply with her essential marital
obligations. Eduardo testified that Catalina always left their house without his consent;
that she engaged in petty arguments with him; that she constantly refused to give in to
his sexual needs; that she spent most of her time gossiping with neighbors instead of
doing the household chores and caring for their adopted daughter; that she squandered
by gambling all his remittances as an overseas worker in Qatar since 1993; and that she
abandoned the conjugal home in 1997 to live with Bobbie Castro, her paramour.
Eduardo presented the results of the neuro-psychiatric evaluation conducted by Dr.
Annabelle L. Reyes, a psychiatrist. Based on the tests she administered on Catalina, Dr.
Reyes opined that Catalina exhibited traits of Borderline Personality Disorder that was
no longer treatable.

Catalina did not appear during trial but submitted her Answer/Manifestation, whereby
she admitted her psychological incapacity, but denied leaving the conjugal home
without Eduardo’s consent and flirting with different men.

RTC RULING: Catalina’s infidelity, her spending more time with friends rather than with
her family, and her incessant gambling constituted psychological incapacity that
affected her duty to comply with the essential obligations of marriage.

CA RULING: Reaffirmed decision of RTC.









We grant Petition for Review.

Psychological incapacity under Article 36 of the Family Code contemplates an incapacity

or inability to take cognizance of and to assume basic marital obligations, and is not
merely the difficulty, refusal, or neglect in the performance of marital obligations or ill
will. It consists of:

(a) a true inability to commit oneself to the essentials of marriage;

(b) the inability must refer to the essential obligations of marriage, that is, the conjugal
act, the community of life and love, the rendering of mutual help, and the procreation
and education of offspring; and

(c) the inability must be tantamount to a psychological abnormality. Proving that a

spouse failed to meet his or her responsibility and duty as a married person is not
enough; it is essential that he or she must be shown to be incapable of doing so due to
some psychological illness.

We decreed that psychological incapacity should refer to a mental incapacity that

causes a party to be truly incognitive of the basic marital covenants such as those
enumerated in Article 68 of the Family Code and must be characterized by: gravity,
juridical antecedence and incurability.

Both lower courts did not exact a compliance with the requirement of sufficiently
explaining the gravity, root cause and incurability of Catalina’s purported psychological
incapacity. Rather, they were liberal in their appreciation of the scanty evidence that
Eduardo submitted to establish the incapacity.
Secondly, both lower courts noticeably relied heavily on the results of the neuro-
psychological evaluation by Dr. Reyes despite the paucity of factual foundation to
support the claim of Catalina’s psychological incapacity. Dr. Reyes only established that
Catalina was childish and immature, and that her childishness and immaturity could no
longer be treated due to her having already reached an age “beyond maturity.” The
report was ostensibly vague about the root cause, gravity and incurability of Catalina’s
supposed psychological incapacity. Nor was the testimony given in court by Dr. Reyes a
source of vital information that the report missed out on. Dr. Reyes’ report lacked depth
and objectivity, a weakness that removed the necessary support for the conclusion that
the RTC and the CA reached about Catalina’s psychological incapacity to perform her
marital duties. We have repeatedly pronounced that the root cause of the psychological
incapacity must be identified as a psychological illness, with its incapacitating nature
fully explained and established by the totality of the evidence presented during trial.

A fact established here, which Catalina even admitted in her Answer, was her
abandonment of the conjugal home to live with another man. Yet, abandonment was
not one of the grounds for the nullity of marriage under the Family Code. Further, her
sexual infidelity was not a valid ground for the nullity of marriage under Article 36 of the
Family Code, considering that there should be a showing that such marital infidelity was
a manifestation of a disordered personality that made her completely unable to
discharge the essential obligations of marriage.

Given the insufficiency of the evidence proving the psychological incapacity of Catalina,
we cannot but resolve in favor of the existence and continuation of the marriage and
against its dissolution and nullity.

CASE: Viñas vs. Viñas, G.R. No. 208790, January 21, 2015


On April 26, 1999, Glenn and Mary Grace, then 25 and 23 years old, respectively, got married in
civil rites held in Lipa City, Batangas. Mary Grace was already pregnant then. The infant,
however, died at birth due to weakness and malnourishment. Glenn alleged that the infant’s
death was caused by Mary Grace’s heavy drinking and smoking during her pregnancy.

Sometime in March of 2006, Mary Grace left the home which she shared with Glenn. Glenn
subsequently found out that Mary Grace went to work in Dubai. At the time the instant petition
was filed, Mary Grace had not returned yet.

On February 18, 2009, Glenn filed a Petition5 for the declaration of nullity of his marriage with
Mary Grace.He alleged that Mary Grace was insecure, extremely jealous, outgoing and prone to
regularly resorting to any pretext to be able to leave the house. She thoroughly enjoyed the
night life, and drank and smoked heavily even whenshe was pregnant. Further, Mary Grace
refused to perform even the most essential household chores of cleaning and cooking. Glenn
likewise alleged that Mary Grace was not remorseful about the death of the infant whom she
delivered. She lived as if she were single and was unmindful of her husband’s needs. She was
self-centered, selfish and immature. When Glenn confronted her about her behavior, she
showed indifference. She eventually left their home without informing Glenn. Glenn later found
out that she left for an overseas employment in Dubai.

To ease their marital problems, Glenn sought professional guidance and submitted himself to a
psychological evaluation by Clinical Psychologist Nedy Tayag (Dr. Tayag). Dr. Tayag found him as
"amply aware of his marital roles" and "capable of maintaining a mature and healthy
heterosexual relationship." On the other hand, Dr. Tayag assessed Mary Grace’s personality
through the data she had gathered from Glenn and his cousin, Rodelito Mayo (Rodelito), who
knew Mary Graceway back in college. According to the doctor's conclusion, the said disorder (of
Mary Grace) is considered to be severe, serious, grave, permanent and chronic in proportion
and is incurable by any form of clinical intervention. It has already been deeply embedded
within her system as it was found to have started as early as her childhood years. Because of
such, it has caused her to be inflexible, maladaptive and functionally-impaired especially with
regards to heterosexual dealings. Such disorder of Mary Grace is mainly characterized by
grandiosity, need for admiration and lack of empathy, along with her pattern of disregard for
and violation of the rights of others, which utterly distorted her perceptions and views especially
in terms of a fitting marital relationship. The psychological incapacity of Mary Grace is of a
juridical antecedence as it was already inher system even prior to the solemnization of her
marriage with Glenn.

RULING OF THE RTC: RTC rendered its Decision16 declaring the marriage between Glenn and
Mary Grace as null and void on account of the latter’s psychological incapacity.

RULING OF THE CA: On appeal before the CA, the OSG claimed that no competent evidence exist
proving that Mary Grace indeed suffers from a Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which prevents
her from fulfilling her marital obligations. We cannot declare the dissolution of the marriage of
the parties for the obvious failure of [Glenn] to show that the alleged psychological incapacity of
[Mary Grace] is characterized by gravity, juridical antecedence and incurability; and for his
failure to observe the guidelines outlined (from previous jurisprudence). The burden of proof to
show the nullity of the marriage belongs to [Glenn]. Any doubt should be resolved in favor of
the existence and continuation of the marriage and against its dissolution and nullity. This is
rooted from the fact that both our Constitution and our laws cherish the validity of marriage and
unity of the family.


Glenn now raises before this Court the issue of whether or not sufficient evidence exist
justifying the RTC’s declaration of nullity of his marriage with Mary Grace.


The instant petition lacks merit.

The lack of personal examination orassessment of the respondent by a psychologist or

psychiatrist is not necessarily fatal in a petition for the declaration of nullity of marriage. "If the
totality of evidence presented is enough to sustain a finding of psychological incapacity, then
actual medical examination of the person concerned need not be resorted to."

In the present case, the respondent’s stubborn refusal to cohabit with the petitioner was
doubtlessly irresponsible, but it was never proven to be rooted in some psychological illness. x x
x Likewise, the respondent’s act of living with another woman four years into the marriage
cannot automatically be equated with a psychological disorder, especially when no specific
evidence was shown that promiscuity was a trait already existing at the inception of marriage. In
fact, petitioner herself admitted that respondent was caring and faithful when they were going
steady and for a time after their marriage; their problems only came in later.

It is worth noting that Glenn and Mary Grace lived with each other for more or less seven years
from 1999 to 2006. The foregoing established fact shows that living together as spouses under
one roof is not an impossibility. Mary Grace’s departure from their home in 2006 indicates
either a refusal or mere difficulty, but not absolute inability to comply with her obligation to live
with her husband.

Also, a careful reading of Dr. Tayag’s testimony reveals that she failed to establish the fact that
at the time the parties were married, respondent was already suffering from a psychological
defect that deprived him of the ability to assume the essential duties and responsibilities of
marriage. Neither did she adequately explain howshe came to the conclusion that respondent’s
condition was grave and incurable.

While the Court also commiserates with Glenn’s marital woes, the totality of the evidence
presented provides inadequate basis for the Court to conclude that Mary Grace is indeed
psychologically incapacitated to comply with her obligations as Glenn’s spouse.

Ruling of CA is affirmed.

CASE: Mallilin vs. Jamesolamin & the Republic, G.R. No. 192718, February 18, 2015


Robert and Luz were married on September 6, 1972. They begot three (3) children.
On March 16, 1994, Robert filed a complaint for declaration of nullity of marriage before the
RTC, Branch 23, Cagayan de Oro City (RTC-Br. 23). RTC-Br. 23 denied the petition. The case was
remanded to the RTC for further proceedings and its records were thereafter transferred from
RTC-Br. 23 to RTC-Br. 37, as the latter was designated as Family Court pursuant to the Family
Code Act of 1997.

Robert alleged that at the time of the celebration of their marriage, Luz was suffering from
psychological and mental incapacity and unpreparedness to enter into such marital life and to
comply with its essential obligations and responsibilities. Also, the former alleged that Luz
exhibited clear manifestation of immaturity, irresponsibility, deficiency of independent rational
judgment, and inability to cope with the heavy and oftentimes demanding obligation of a

Luz filed her Answer with Counterclaim contesting the complaint. She averred that it was Robert
who manifested psychological incapacity in their marriage.

When Robert testified, he disclosed that Luz was already living in California, USA, and had
married an American. He also revealed that when they were still engaged, Luz continued seeing
and dating another boyfriend, a certain Lt. Liwag. He also claimed that from the outset, Luz had
been remiss in her duties both as a wife and as a mother as shown by the following
circumstances: (1) it was he who did the cleaning of the room because Luz did not know how to
keep order; (2) it was her mother who prepared their meal while her sister was the one who
washed their clothes because she did not want her polished nails destroyed; (3) it was also her
sister who took care of their children while she spent her time sleeping and looking at the
mirror; (4) when she resumed her schooling, she dated different men; (5) he received
anonymous letters reporting her loitering with male students; (6) when he was not home, she
would receive male visitors; (7) a certain Romy Padua slept in their house when he was away;
and (6) she would contract loans without his knowledge. In addition, Robert presented the
testimony of Myrna Delos Reyes Villanueva (Villanueva), Guidance Psychologist II of Northern
Mindanao Medical Center.

On May 8, 2000, while the case was pending before the trial court, Robert filed a petition for
marriage annulment with the Metropolitan Tribunal of First Instance for the Archdiocese of
Manila (Metropolitan Tribunal). On October 10, 2002, the Metropolitan Tribunal handed down a
decision declaring their marriage invalid ab initio on the ground of grave lack of due discretion
on the part of both parties as contemplated by the second paragraph of Canon1095. This
decision was affirmed by the National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal (NAMT).

RTC RULING: On September 20, 2002,the RTC had rendered a decision declaring the marriage
null and void on the ground of psychological incapacity on the part of Luz as she failed to comply
with the essential marital obligations.

The State, represented by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), interposed an appeal with
the CA.

CA RULING: In its November 20, 2009 Decision, granted the petition and reversed the RTC

In the case at bar, apart from his self-serving declarations, the evidence adduced by Robert fell
short of establishing the fact that at the time of their marriage, Luz was suffering from a
psychological defect which in fact deprived [her] of the ability to assume the essential duties of
marriage and its concomitant responsibilities.





Robert asserts that the case of Luz was not a mere case of sexual infidelity, but clearly an illness
that was rooted on some debilitating psychological condition which incapacitated her to carry
out the responsibilities of a married woman.
The OSG argues that the CA correctly ruled that the totality of evidence presented by Robert
was not sufficient to support a finding that Luz was psychologically incapacitated.

With regard to the findings of the Metropolitan Tribunal and the NAMT, the OSG claims that the
same were only given persuasive value and were not controlling or decisive in cases of nullity of


The main issue is whether the totality of the evidence adduced proves that Luz was
psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential obligations of marriage warranting
the annulment of their marriage under Article 36 of the Family Code.

The petition is bereft of merit.

Art. 36. A marriage contracted by any party who, at the time of the celebration, was
psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligation of marriage, shall
likewise be void even if such incapacity becomes manifest only after its solemnization.
"Psychological incapacity," as a ground to nullify a marriage under Article 36 of the Family Code,
should refer to no less than a mental – not merely physical – incapacity that causes a party to be
truly incognitive of the basic marital covenants that concomitantly must be assumed and
discharged by the parties to the marriage which, as so expressed in Article 68 of the Family
Code, among others, include their mutual obligations to live together; observe love, respect and
fidelity; and render help and support. There is hardly a doubt that the intendment of the law has
been to confine the meaning of "psychological incapacity" to the most serious cases of
personality disorders clearly demonstrative of an utter insensitivity or inability to give meaning
and significance to the marriage.

First, the testimony of Robert failed to overcome the burden of proof to show the nullity of the
marriage. Other than his self-serving testimony, no other evidence was adduced to show the
alleged incapacity of Luz.

Second, the root cause of the alleged psychological incapacity of Luz was not medically or
clinically identified, and sufficiently proven during the trial. Based on the records, Robert failed
to prove that her disposition of not cleaning the room, preparing their meal, washing the
clothes, and propensity for dating and receiving different male visitors, was grave, deeply
rooted, and incurable within the parameters of jurisprudence on psychological incapacity.

As correctly found by the CA, sexual infidelity or perversion and abandonment do not, by
themselves, constitute grounds for declaring a marriage void based on psychological incapacity.
Third, the psychological report of Villanueva, Guidance Psychologist II of the Northern Mindanao
Medical Center, Cagayan deOro City, was insufficient to prove the psychological in capacity of

Fourth, the decision of the Metropolitan Tribunal is insufficient to prove the psychological
incapacity of Luz. Although it is true that the Court stated that interpretations given by the
NAMT of the Catholic Church in the Philippines, while not controlling or decisive, should be
given great respect by our courts, still it is subject to the law on evidence.

WHEREFORE, Petition is Denied.