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Case

 #  4  
Republic  vs  CA  and  Castro  

GR  No.  103047,  September  12,  1994  


 

FACTS:  
Angelina   Castro,   with   her   parents   unaware,   contracted   a   civil   marriage   with  
Edwin   Cardenas.     They   did   not   immediately   live   together   and   it   was   only   upon  
Castro   found   out   that   she   was   pregnant   that   they   decided   to   live   together  
wherein  the  said  cohabitation  lasted  for  only  4  months.     Thereafter,  they  parted  
ways  and  Castro  gave  birth  that  was  adopted  by  her  brother  with  the  consent  of  
Cardenas.    

The   baby   was   brought   in   the   US   and   in   Castro’s   earnest   desire   to   follow   her  
daughter   wanted   to   put   in   order   her   marital   status   before   leaving   for   US.     She  
filed  a  petition  seeking  a  declaration  for  the  nullity  of  her  marriage.     Her  lawyer  
then  found  out  that  there  was  no  marriage  license  issued  prior  to  the  celebration  
of   their   marriage   proven   by   the   certification   issued   by   the   Civil   Registrar   of  
Pasig.  
 

ISSUE:  Whether   or   not   the   documentary   and   testimonial   evidence   resorted   to  


by   Castro   is   sufficient   to   establish   that   no   marriage   license   was   issued   to   the  
parties  prior  to  the  solemnization  of  their  marriage.  

HELD:  
The   court   affirmed   the   decision   of   CA   that   the   certification   issued   by   the   Civil  
Registrar   unaccompanied   by   any   circumstances   of   suspicion   sufficiently   prove  
that  the  office  did  not  issue  a  marriage  license  to  the  contracting  parties.     Albeit  
the  fact  that  the  testimony  of  Castro  is  not  supported  by  any  other  witnesses  is  
not   a   ground   to   deny   her   petition   because   of   the   peculiar   circumstances   of   her  
case.     Furthermore,   Cardenas   was   duly   served   with   notice   of   the   proceedings,  
which  he  chose  to  ignore.  
Under  the  circumstances  of  the  case,  the  documentary  and  testimonial  evidence  
presented   by   private   respondent   Castro   sufficiently   established   the   absence   of  
the  subject  marriage  license.  
 

 
 

 
Case  #  5  

G.R.  No.  167684                          July  31,  2006  

JAIME  O.  SEVILLA  vs.  CARMELITA  N.  CARDENAS  


 
Facts:  In  a  Complaint  filed  by  Jaime  O.  Sevilla  before  the  RTC,  he  claimed  that  on  19  May  
1969,  through  machinations,  duress  and  intimidation  employed  upon  him  by  Carmelita  
N.   Cardenas   and   the   latter’s   father,   retired   Colonel   Jose   Cardenas   of   the   Armed   forces   of  
the   Philippines,   he   and   Carmelita   went   to   the   City   Hall   of   Manila   and   they   were  
introduced  to  a  certain  Reverend  Cirilo  D.  Gonzales,  a  supposed  Minister  of  the  Gospel.  
On   the   said   date,   the   father   of   Carmelita   caused   him   and   Carmelita   to   sign   a   marriage  
contract  before  the  said  Minister  of  the  Gospel.  According  to  Jaime,  he  never  applied  for  
a  marriage  license  for  his  supposed  marriage  to  Carmelita  and  never  did  they  obtain  any  
marriage   license   from   any   Civil   Registry,   consequently,   no   marriage   license   was  
presented  to  the  solemnizing  officer.  
 
For   her   part,   Carmelita   refuted   these   allegations   of   Jaime,   and   claims   that   she   and   Jaime  
were  married  civilly  on  19  May  1969,4  and  in  a  church  ceremony  thereafter  on  31  May  
19695  at   the   Most   Holy   Redeemer   Parish   in   Quezon   City.   Both   marriages   were  
registered  with  the  local  civil  registry  of  Manila  and  the  National  Statistics  Office.  He  is  
estopped  from  invoking  the  lack  of  marriage  license  after  having  been  married  to  her  for  
25  years.  
 
Perlita  Mercader  of  the  local  civil  registry  of  San  Juan  testified  that  they  “failed  to  locate  
the  book  wherein  marriage  license  no.  2770792  is  registered,”  for  the  reason  that  “the  
employee   handling   is   already   retired.“  With   said   testimony   We   cannot   therefore   just  
presume   that   the   marriage   license   specified   in   the   parties’   marriage   contract   was   not  
issued   for   in   the   end   the   failure   of   the   office   of   the   local   civil   registrar   of   San   Juan   to  
produce   a   copy   of   the   marriage   license   was   attributable   not   to   the   fact   that   no   such  
marriage   license   was   issued   but   rather,   because   it   “failed   to   locate   the   book   wherein  
marriage   license   no.   2770792   is   registered.”   Simply   put,   if   the   pertinent   book   were  
available   for   scrutiny,   there   is   a   strong   possibility   that   it   would   have   contained   an   entry  
on  marriage  license  no.  2720792.  
 
Issue:  WON  there  was  a  marriage  license  issued.  
 
Held:   The   above   Rule   authorized   the   custodian   of   documents  to   certify   that   despite  
diligent   search,   a   particular   document   does   not   exist   in   his   office   or   that   a   particular  
entry   of   a   specified   tenor   was   not   to   be   found   in   a   register.  As   custodians   of   public  
documents,   civil   registrars   are   public   officers   charged   with   the   duty,   inter   alia,   of  
maintaining   a   register   book   where   they   are   required   to   enter   all   applications   for  
marriage   licenses,   including   the   names   of   the   applicants,   the   date   the   marriage   license  
was   issued   and   such   other   relevant   data.   (Emphasis   supplied.)  
 
Thus,  the  certification  to  be  issued  by  the  Local  Civil  Registrar  must  categorically  state  
that  the  document  does  not  exist  in  his  office  or  the  particular  entry  could  not  be  found  
in  the  register  despite  diligent  search.  Such  certification  shall  be  sufficient  proof  of  lack  
or   absence   of   record   as   stated   in   Section   28,   Rule   132   of   the   Rules   of   Court:  
 
SEC.   28.  Proof   of   lack   of   record.   –   a   written   statement   signed   by   an   officer   having   the  
custody   of   an   official   record   or   by   his   deputy   that   after   diligent   search,   no   record   or  
entry  of  a  specified  tenor  is  found  to  exist  in  the  records  of  his  office,  accompanied  by  a  
certificate   as   above   provided,   is   admissible   as   evidence   that   the   records   of   his   office  
contain  no  such  record  or  entry.  
 
This   implication   is   confirmed   in   the   testimony   of   the   representative   from   the   Office   of  
the  Local  Civil  Registrar  of  San  Juan,  Ms.  Perlita  Mercader,  who  stated  that  they  cannot  
locate   the   logbook   due   to   the   fact   that   the   person   in   charge   of   the   said   logbook   had  
already  retired.  Further,  the  testimony  of  the  said  person  was  not  presented  in  evidence.  
It  does  not  appear  on  record  that  the  former  custodian  of  the  logbook  was  deceased  or  
missing,  or  that  his  testimony  could  not  be  secured.  This  belies  the  claim  that  all  efforts  
to   locate   the   logbook   or   prove   the   material   contents   therein,   had   been   exerted.  
 
Moreover,   the   absence   of   the   logbook   is   not   conclusive   proof   of   non-­‐issuance   of  
Marriage  License  No.  2770792.  It  can  also  mean,  as  we  believed  true  in  the  case  at  bar,  
that   the   logbook   just   cannot   be   found.   In   the   absence   of   showing   of   diligent   efforts   to  
search  for  the  said  logbook,  we  cannot  easily  accept  that  absence  of  the  same  also  means  
non-­‐existence  or  falsity  of  entries  therein.  
 
Finally,   the   rule   is   settled   that   every   intendment   of   the   law   or   fact   leans   toward   the  
validity   of   the   marriage,   the   indissolubility   of   the   marriage   bonds.23  The   courts   look  
upon  this  presumption  with  great  favor.  It  is  not  to  be  lightly  repelled;  on  the  contrary,  
the  presumption  is  of  great  weight.  
 
“The  basis  of  human  society  throughout  the  civilized  world  is  x  x  x  marriage.  Marriage  in  
this  jurisdiction  is  not  only  a  civil  contract,  but  it  is  a  new  relation,  an  institution  in  the  
maintenance   of   which   the   public   is   deeply   interested.   Consequently,   every   intendment  
of   the   law   leans   toward   legalizing   matrimony.Persons   dwelling   together   in   apparent  
matrimony  are  presumed,  in  the  absence  of  any  counterpresumption  or  evidence  special  
to  the  case,  to  be  in  fact  married.  The  reason  is  that  such  is  the  common  order  of  society,  
and  if  the  parties  were  not  what  they  thus  hold  themselves  out  as  being,  they  would  be  
living   in   the   constant   violation   of   decency   and   of   law.   A   presumption   established   by   our  
Code   of   Civil   Procedure   is   `that   a   man   and   a   woman   deporting   themselves   as   husband  
and   wife   have   entered   into   a   lawful   contract   of   marriage.’  Semper   praesumitur   pro  
matrimonio  –  Always  presume  marriage.”  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Case  #  12  
Garcia-­Recio  vs.  Recio  
CITATION:  GR  NO.  138322,  Oct.  2,  2002  |  366  SCRA  437  
 

FACTS:   Rederick   A.   Recio,   a   Filipino,   was   married   to   Editha   Samson,   an  


Australian   Citizen,   in   Malabon,   Rizal   on   March   1,   1987.     They   lived   as   husband  
and  wife  in  Australia.     However,  an  Australian  family  court  issued  purportedly  a  
decree   of   divorce,   dissolving   the   marriage   of   Rederick   and   Editha   on   May   18,  
1989.    

On  January  12,  1994,  Rederick  married  Grace  J.  Garcia  where  it  was  solemnized  
at  Our  lady  of  Perpetual  Help  Church,  Cabanatuan  City.     Since  October  22,  1995,  
the  couple  lived  separately  without  prior  judicial  dissolution  of  their  marriage.    
As  a  matter  of  fact,  while  they  were  still  in  Australia,  their  conjugal  assets  were  
divided   on   May   16,   1996,   in   accordance   with   their   Statutory   Declarations  
secured  in  Australia.  
Grace   filed   a   Complaint   for   Declaration   of   Nullity   of   Marriage   on   the   ground   of  
bigamy   on   March   3,   1998,   claiming   that   she   learned   only   in   November   1997,  
Rederick’s  marriage  with  Editha  Samson.  

ISSUE:  WON  the  decree  of  divorce  submitted  by  Rederick  Recio  is  admissible  as  
evidence   to   prove   his   legal   capacity   to   marry   petitioner   and   absolved   him   of  
bigamy.  

HELD:  The  nullity  of  Rederick’s  marriage  with  Editha  as  shown  by  the  divorce  
decree  issued  was  valid  and  recognized  in  the  Philippines  since  the  respondent  is  
a   naturalized   Australian.     However,   there   is   absolutely   no   evidence   that   proves  
respondent’s   legal   capacity   to   marry   petitioner   though   the   former   presented   a  
divorce  decree.     The  said  decree,  being  a  foreign  document  was  inadmissible  to  
court   as   evidence   primarily   because   it   was   not   authenticated   by   the   consul/  
embassy  of  the  country  where  it  will  be  used.  

Under  Sections  24  and  25  of  Rule  132,  a  writing  or  document  may  be  proven  as  a  
public  or  official  record  of  a  foreign  country  by  either:  

(1)  an  official  publication  or  


(2)  a  copy  thereof  attested  by  the  officer  having  legal  custody  of  the  document.  If  
the  record  is  not  kept  in  the  Philippines,  such  copy  must  be:  

(a)   accompanied   by   a   certificate   issued   by   the   proper   diplomatic   or   consular  


officer   in   the   Philippine   foreign   service   stationed   in   the   foreign   country   in   which  
the  record  is  kept  and  
(b)  authenticated  by  the  seal  of  his  office.  

Thus,   the   Supreme   Court   remands   the   case   to   the   Regional   Trial   Court   of  
Cabanatuan   City   to   receive   or   trial   evidence   that   will   conclusively   prove  
respondent’s  legal  capacity  to  marry  petitioner  and  thus  free  him  on  the  ground  
of  bigamy.  
Case  #  19  

Carlos  v.  Sandoval  


GR#  179922  /  DEC.  16,  2008  
574  SCRA  116  

Facts:  On  May  13,  1992,  Teofilo  died  intestate.  He  was  survived  by  respondents  
Felicidad  and  their  son,  Teofilo  Carlos  II  (Teofilo  II).of  respondent  Felicidad  and  
co-­‐respondent,   Teofilo   II.   Petitioner   and   respondent   entered   into   compromised  
agreements  to  divide  the  land  equally.  In  August  1995,  petitioner  filed  an  action  
with   the   following   causes:   (a)   declaration   of   nullity   of   marriage;   (b)   status   of   a  
child;   (c)   recovery   of   property;   (d)   reconveyance;   and   (e)   sum   of   money   and  
damages.  In  his  complaint,  petitioner  asserted  that  the  marriage  between  his  late  
brother  Teofilo  and  respondent  Felicidad  was  a  nullity  in  view  of  the  absence  of  
the  required  marriage  license.  He  likewise  maintained  that  his  deceased  brother  
was  neither  the  natural  nor  the  adoptive  father  of  respondent  Teofilo  Carlos  II.  

Issue:   Whether   or   not   the   brother   of   one   of   the   spouse   has   a   legal   standing   in   a  
declaration  of  nullity  case.  

Ruling:   The   advent   of   the   Rule   on   Declaration   of   Absolute   Nullity   of   Void  


Marriages  marks  the  beginning  of  the  end  of  the  right  of  the  heirs  of  the  deceased  
spouse  to  bring  a  nullity  of  marriage  case  against  the  surviving  spouse.  But  the  
Rule   never   intended   to   deprive   the   compulsory   or   intestate   heirs   of   their  
successional   rights.   While   A.M.   No.   02-­‐11-­‐10-­‐SC   declares   that   a   petition   for  
declaration   of  absolute  nullity  of  marriage  may  be  filed  solely  by  the  husband  or  
the  wife,  it  does  not  mean  that  the  compulsory  or  intestate  heirs  are  without  any  
recourse   under   the   law.   They   can   still   protect   their   successional   right,   for,   as  
stated   in   the   Rationale   of   the   Rules   on   Annulment   of   Voidable   Marriages   and  
Declaration  of  Absolute  Nullity  of  Void  Marriages,  compulsory  or  intestate  heirs  
can   still   question   the   validity   of   the   marriage   of   the   spouses,   not   in   a   proceeding  
for  declaration  of  nullity  but  upon  the  death  of  a  spouse  in  a  proceeding  for  the  
settlement  of  the  estate  of  the  deceased  spouse  filed  in  the  regular  courts.  
 

 
 
 

 
 
 
 

 
Case  #  20  
Suntay  vs.  Suntay  
GR  No.  132524  
December  29,  1998  
 
FACTS:   Petitioner   Federico   is   the   oppositor   to   respondent   Isabel’s   Petition   for   Letters  
of  Administration  over  the  estate  of  Cristina  A.  Suntay  who  had  died  without  leaving  a  
will.  The  decedent  is  the  wife  of  Federico  and  the  grandmother  of  Isabel.  Isabel’s  father  
Emilio,   had   predeceased   his   mother   Cristina.  
The   marriage   of   Isabel’s   parents   had   previously   been   decalred   by   the   CFI   as   “null   and  
void.”  Federico  anchors  his  oppostion  on  this  fact,  alleging  based  on  Art.  992  of  the  CC,  
that   Isabel   has   no   right   to   succeed   by   right   of   representation   as   she   is   an   illegitimate  
child.   The   trial   court   had   denied   Federico’s   Motion   to   Dismiss,   hence   this   petition   for  
certiorari.   Federico   contends   that,   inter   alia,   that   the   dispositive   portion   of   the   the  
decision  declaring  the  marriage  of  Isabel’s  parents  “null  and  void”  be  upheld.  
 
ISSUE:  Whether  or  not  Isabel  is  a  legitimate  child.  
 
HELD:   Petition   dismissed   Art.   10   of   the   Civil   Code   states   that   in   case   of   doubt   in   the  
interpretation  and  application  of  laws,  it  is  presumed  that  the  lawmaking  body  intended  
right  and  justice  to  prevail.  This  is  also  applicable  and  binding  upon  courts  in  relation  to  
its  judgment.  While  the  dispositive  portion  of  the  CFI  decision  states  that  the  marriage  
be  “declared  null  and  void,”  the  body  had  shown  that  the  legal  basis  was  par.  3  Art.  85  of  
the  Civil  Code,  which  was  in  effect  at  the  time.  Art.  85  enumerates  the  causes  for  which  a  
marriage   may   be   annulled.   As   such   the   conflict   between   the   body   and   the   dispositive  
portion   of   the   decision   may   be   reconcilable   as   noted   by   the   Supreme   Court.   The  
fundamental   distinction   between   void   and   voidable   marriages   is   that   void   marriage   is  
deemed  never  to  have  taken  place  at  all.  The  effects  of  void  marriages,  with  respect  to  
property   relations   of   the   spouses   are   provided   for   under   Article   144   of   the   Civil   Code.  
Children  born  of  such  marriages  who  are  called  natural  children  by  legal  fiction  have  the  
same   status,   rights   and   obligations   as   acknowledged   natural   children   under   Article   89  
irrespective  of  whether  or  not  the  parties  to  the  void  marriage  are  in  good  faith  or  in  bad  
faith.   On   the   other   hand,   a   voidable   marriage,   is   considered   valid   and   produces   all   its  
civil  effects,  until  it  is  set  aside  by  final  judgment  of  a  competent  court  in  an  action  for  
annulment.  Juridically,  the  annulment  of  a  marriage  dissolves  the  special  contract  as  if  it  
had  never  been  entered  into  but  the  law  makes  express  provisions  to  prevent  the  effects  
of   the   marriage   from   being   totally   wiped   out.   The   status   of   children   born   in   voidable  
marriages   is   governed   by   the   second   paragraph   of   Article   89   which   provides   that:  
Children   conceived   of   voidable   marriages   before   the   decree   of   annulment   shall   be  
considered   legitimate;   and   children   conceived   thereafter   shall   have   the   same   status,  
rights   and   obligations   as   acknowledged   natural   children,   and   are   also   called   natural  
children   by   legal   fiction.   In   view   thereof,   the   status   of   Isabel   would   be   covered   by   the  
second   paragraph   of   Article   89   of   the   Civil   Code   which   provides   that   “   children  
conceived   of   voidable   marriages   before   the   decree   of   annulment   shall   be   considered  
legitimate.”  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Case  #  27  

Pesca  v.  Pesca  


G.R.  No.  136921,  April  17,  2001  

FACTS:   The   petitioner   and   respondent   were   married   and   had   four   children.  
Lorna  filed  a  petition  for  declaration  of  nullity  of  their  marriage  on  the  ground  of  
psychological   incapacity   on   the   part   of   her   husband.   She   alleged   that   he   is  
emotionally   immature   and   irresponsible.   He   was   cruel   and   violent.   He   was   a  
habitual   drinker.   Whenever   she   tells   him   to   stop   or   at   least   minimize   his  
drinking,   her   husband   would   hurt   her.   There   was   even   a   time   when   she   was  
chased   by   a   loaded   shotgun   and   threatened   to   kill   her   in   the   presence   of   their  
children.   The   children   also   suffered   physical   violence.   Petitioner   and   their  
children   left   the   home.   Two   months   later,   they   returned   upon   the   promise   of  
respondent   to   change.   But   he   didn’t.   She   was   battered   again.   Her   husband   was  
imprisoned  for  11  days  for  slight  physical  injuries.  RTC  declared  their  marriage  
null  and  void.  CA  reversed  RTC’s  ruling.  Hence,  this  petition.  

ISSUE:  W/N  the  guidelines  for  psychological  incapacity  in  the  case  of  Republic  
vs  CA  &  Molina  should  be  taken  in  consideration  in  deciding  in  this  case.  

HELD:   Yes.   In   the   Molina   case,   guidelines   were   laid   down   by   the   SC   before   a  
case   would   fall   under   the   category   of   psychological   incapacity   to   declare   a  
marriage   null   and   void.   This   decision   has   force   and   effect   of   a   law.   These  
guidelines  are  mandatory  in  nature.  Petition  denied.  
 
The   "doctrine   of   stare   decisis,"   ordained   in   Article   8   of   the   Civil   Code,    expresses  
that  judicial  decisions  applying  or  interpreting  the  law  shall  form  part  of  the  legal  
system   of   the   Philippines.    The   rule   follows   the   settled   legal   maxim   –   “legis  
interpretado   legis   vim   obtinet”   –   that   the   interpretation   placed   upon   the   written  
law  by  a  competent  court  has  the  force  of  law.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Case  #  28  
G.R.  No.  130087,  September  24,  2003  
Diana  M.  Barcelona  v.  CA  and  Tadeo  R.  Bengzon  
 
Facts:   Petioner   Diana   Barcelona   and   respondent   Tadeo   Bengzon   contracted  
marriage   after   their   whirlwind   courtship.   The   union   begot   five  children.   On  
March   29,   1995,   private   respondent   Tadeo   Bengzon   filed   a   petition   for  
annulment  of  marriage  on  ground  of  psychological  incapacity  against  petitioner  
Diana  Barcelona.  On  May  9,  1995,  respondent  filed  a  Motion  to  withdraw  which  
the   RTC   granted   on  June   7,   1995.On   July   21,   1995,   respondent   filed   a   new  
petition  for  annulment  of  marriage  on  ground  of  psychological  incapacity  against  
petitioner  Diana  Barcelona.  Petitioner  filed  a  motion  to  dismiss  on  two  grounds  
(1)   there   was   no   cause   of   action   in  the   second   petition   (2)   it   violates   SC  
Administrative   Circular   on   forum   shopping.   RTC   issued   an   order   to   defer  
resolution  on  the  motion  of  petitioner  until  arguments  in  the  hearing.  Petitioner  
then   filed   a   motion   for   reconsideration.   Petitioner   Diana  filed   a  Petition  
for  Certiorari,   Prohibition  and  Mandamus  before   the  Court  of   Appeals   assailing  
the  trial  court’s  first  order  deferring  action  on  the  Motion  and  the  second  order  
denying   the  motion   for   reconsideration   on   14   February   1997.  The   Court   of  
Appeals   dismissed   the   petition   and   denied   the   motion   for   reconsideration.  
Hence,  this  petition.  
 
Issue:  Whether  the  allegations  of  the  second  petition  for  annulment  of  marriage  
sufficiently   state   a   cause   of   action   and   whether   respondent   Tadeo   violated  SC  
Administrative  circular  on  forum  shopping.  
 
Ruling:  Petitioner  contends  that  the  petition  fails  to  allege  the  root  cause  of  the  
psychological   incapacity.   Subsequent   to   Santos   and   Molina,   the   Court   adopted  
the   new   Rules   on   Declaration   of   Absolute   Nullity   of   Void   Marriages   and  
Annulment  of  Voidable  Marriages:   The  complete  facts  should  allege  the  physical  
manifestations,  if  any,  as  are  indicative  of  psychological  incapacity  at  the  time  of  
the   celebration   of   the   marriage   but   expert   opinion   need   not   be   alleged.   Since   the  
new   Rules   do   not   require   the   petition   to   allege   expert   opinion   on   the  
psychological   incapacity,   it   follows   that   there   is   also   no  need   to   allege   in   the  
petition  the  root  cause  of  the  psychological  incapacity  since  root  cause  can  only  
be   ascertain   by  experts.   On   whether   respondent   Tadeo   violated   SC  
Administrative   circular   on   forum   shopping,   as  the   court   have   ruled   that   an  
omission   in   the   certificate   of   non-­‐forum   shopping   about   any   event   that   would  
not  constitute  res  judicata  and  litis  pendentia  as  in  the  case  at  bar,  is  not  fatal  as  
to  merit  the  dismissal  and  nullification  of  the  entire  proceedings  considering  that  
the   evils   sought   to   be   prevented   by   the   said   certificate   are   not   present.   The  
dismissal   of   the   first   petition   precluded   the   eventuality   of   litis   pendentia.   The  
first   petition’s   dismissal   did   not   also   amount   to   res   judicata.  Thus,   there   is   no  
need   to   state   in   the   certificate   of  non-­‐forum   shopping   in   the   second   petition  
about   the   prior   filing   and   dismissal   of  the   first   petition.   Hence,   second   petition   is  
not   subject   to   attack   by   a   motion   to   dismiss   on   the   grounds   cited   by   the  
petitioner.  Petition  is  denied  and  decision  of  RTC  and  CA  were  affirmed.  
 
Case  #  33  
Antonio  v.  Reyes  
G.R.  No.  155800,  March  10,  2006  
Leonilo  Antonio  vs  Marie  Ivonne  F.  Reyes  
 
FACTS:   Antonio   and   Reyes   first   got   married   at   Manila   City   Hall   and   subsequently   in  
church  on  December  8,  1990.  A  child  was  born  in  April  1991  but  died  5  months  later.    
Antonio  could  no  longer  take  her  constant  lying,  insecurities  and  jealousies  over  him  so  
he   separated   from   her   in   August   1991.   He   attempted   reconciliation   but   since   her  
behavior  did  not  change,  he  finally  left  her  for  good  in  November  1991.  Only  after  their  
marriage  that  he  learned  about  her  child  with  another  man.  
 
He  then  filed  a  petition  in  1993  to  have  his  marriage  with  Reyes  declared  null  and  void  
under  Article  36  of  the  Family  Code.  
 
The   trial   court   gave   credence   to   Antonio's   evidence   and   thus   declared   the   marriage   null  
and  void.  
 
Court  of  Appeals  reversed  the  trial  court's  decision.     It  held  that  the  totality  of  evidence  
presented  was  insufficient  to  establish  Reyes'  psychological  incapacity.  It  declared  that  
the  requirements  in  the  1997  Molina  case  had  not  been  satisfied.  
 
ISSUE:   Whether   or   not   Antonio   has   established   his   cause   of   action   for   declaration   of  
nullity  under  Article  36  of  the  Family  Code  and,  generally,  under  the  Molina  guidelines.  
 
RULING:   Yes.   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.  
 
The  factual  findings  of  the  trial  court  are  deemed  binding  on  the  SC,  owing  to  the  great  
weight   accorded   to   the   opinion   of   the   primary   trier   of   facts.   As   such,   it   must   be  
considered  that  respondent  had  consistently  lied  about  many  material  aspects  as  to  her  
character   and   personality.   Her   fantastic   ability   to   invent   and   fabricate   stories   and  
personalities   enabled   her   to   live   in   a   world   of   make-­‐believe.   This   made   her  
psychologically   incapacitated   as   it   rendered   her   incapable   of   giving   meaning   and  
significance  to  her  marriage.  
 
The  case  sufficiently  satisfies  the  Molina  guidelines:  First,  that  Antonio  had  sufficiently  
overcome   his   burden   in   proving   the   psychological   incapacity   of   his   wife;   Second,   that  
the   root   cause   of   Reyes'   psychological   incapacity   has   been   medically   or   clinically  
identified  that  was  sufficiently  proven  by  experts,  and  was  clearly  explained  in  the  trial  
court's   decision;   Third,   that   she   fabricated   friends   and   made   up   letters   before   she  
married   him   prove   that   her   psychological   incapacity   was   have   existed   even   before   the  
celebration  of  marriage;  Fourth,  that  the  gravity  of  Reyes'  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;   Fifth,   that   she   being   an   inveterate   pathological   liar   makes   her  
unable  to  commit  the  basic  tenets  of  relationship  between  spouses  based  on  love,  trust,  
and   respect.   Sixth,   that   the   CA   clearly   erred   when   it   failed   to   take   into   consideration   the  
fact   that   the   marriage   was   annulled   by   the   Catholic   Church.   However,   it   is   the   factual  
findings   of   the   judicial   trier   of   facts,   and   not   of   the   canonical   courts,   that   are   accorded  
significant  recognition  by  this  Court.  Seventh,  that  Reyes'  case  is  incurable  considering  
that  Antonio  tried  to  reconcile  with  her  but  her  behavior  remains  unchanged.  
Paras  v.  Paras  
G.R.  147824,  August  2,  2007  

Facts:   On  May  21,  1964,  petitioner  Rosa  Yap  married  respondent  Justo  J.  Paras  
in   Bindoy,   Negros   Oriental.   They   begot   four   (4)   children,   namely:   Raoul  
(deceased),   Cindy   Rose   (deceased),   Dahlia,   and   Reuel.   Twenty-­‐nine   (29)   years  
thereafter,   or   on   May   27,   1993,Rosafiled   with   the   Regional   Trial   Court   (RTC),  
Branch   31,   Dumaguete   City,   a   complaint   for   a   nnulment   of   her   marriage   with  
Justo,   under   Article   36   of   the   Family   Code,   docketed   as   Civil   Case   No.   10613.   She  
alleged   that   Justo   is   psychologically   incapacitated   to   exercise   the   essential  
obligations   of   marriage   as   shown   by   the   following   circumstances:   (a)   he  
dissipated   her   business   assets   and   forged   her   signature   in   one   mortgage  
transaction;  (b)  he  lived  with  a  concubine  and  sired  a  child  with  her;  (c)  he  did  
not   give   financial   support   to   his   children;   and   (d)   he   has   been   remiss   in   his  
duties   both   as   a   husband   and   as   a   father.   She   met   Justo   in   1961in   Bindoy.   She  
was   then   a   student   of   San   Carlos   University,   Cebu   City.   He   courted   her,  
frequently   spending   time   at   her   "Botica."   Eventually,   in1964   convinced   that   he  
loved   her,   she   agreed   to   marry   him.   Their   wedding   was   considered   one   of   the  
"most  celebrated"  marriages  in  Bindoy.  Sometime  in  1975,  their  daughter  Cindy  
Rose   was   afflicted   with   leukemia.   It   was   her   family   who   paid   for   her   medication.  
Also,   in   1984,   their   son   Raoul   was   electrocuted   while   Justo   was   in   their   rest  
house  with  his  "barkadas."  He  did  not  heed  her  earlier  advice  to  bring  Raoul  in  
the   rest   house   as   the   latter   has   the   habit   of   climbing   the   rooftop.   To   cope   with  
the  death  of  the  children,  the  entire  family  went  to  the  United  States.  However,  
after  three  months,  Justo  abandoned  them  and  left  for  the  Philippines.  Upon  her  
return   to   the   Philippines,   she   was   shocked   to   find   her   "Botica"   and   other  
businesses  heavy  in  debt  and  he  disposed  without  her  consent  a  conjugal  piece  
of  land.  At  other  times,  he  permitted  the  municipal  government  to  take  gasoline  
from  their  gas  station  free  of  charge.  His  act  of  maintaining  a  mistress  and  siring  
an  illegitimate  child  was  the  last  straw  that  prompted  her  to  file  the  present  case.  
She  found  that  after  leaving  their  conjugal  house  in  1988,  Justo  lived  with  Jocelyn  
Ching.   Their   cohabitation   resulted   in   the   birth   of   a   baby   girl,   Cyndee   Rose,  
obviously   named   after   her   (Rosa)   and   Justo‘s   deceased   daughter   Cindy   Rose  
Paras.   He   also   denied   forging   her   signature   in   one   mortgage   transaction.   He  
maintained  that  he  did  not  dispose  of  a  conjugal  property  and  that  he  and  Rosa  
personally  signed  the  renewal  of  a  sugar  crop  loan  before  the  bank’s  authorized  
employee.   He   did   not   abandon   his   family   in   the   United   States.   For   his   part,   he  
was  granted  only  three  (3)  months  leave  as  municipal  mayor  of  Bindoy,  thus,  he  
immediately  returned  to  the  Philippines.  He  spent  for  his  children’s  education.  At  
first,  he  resented  supporting  them  because  he  was  just  starting  his  law  practice  
and   besides,   their   conjugal   assets   were   more   than   enough   to   provide   for   their  
needs.   He   admitted   though   that   there   were   times   he   failed   to   give   them   financial  
support  because  of  his  lack  of  income.  What  caused  the  inevitable  family  break-­‐
out   was   Rosa’s   act   of   embarrassing   him   during   his   birthday   celebration   in   1987.  
She  did  not  prepare  food  for  the  guests.  When  confronted,  she  retorted  that  she  
has  nothing  to  do  with  his  birthday.  This  convinced  him  of  her  lack  of  concern.  
This  was  further  aggravated  when  she  denied  his  request  for  engine  oil  when  his  
vehicle   broke   down   in   a   mountainous   and   NPA-­‐infested   area.   As   to   the   charge   of  
concubine,  he  alleged  that  Jocelyn  Ching  is  not  his  mistress,  but  her  secretary  in  
his   Law   Office.   She   was   impregnated   by   her   boyfriend,   a   certain   Grelle  
Leccioness.   Cyndee   Rose   Ching   Leccioness   is   not   his   daughter.   After   trial   or   on  
February   28,   1995,   the   RTC   rendered   a   Decision   upholding   the   validity   of   the  
marriage.  It  found  that:  (a)  Justo  did  not  abandon  the  conjugal  home  as  he  was  
forced   to   leave   after   Rosa   posted   guards   at   the   gates   of   their   house;   (b)   the  
conjugal   assets   were   sufficient   to   support   the   family   needs,   thus,   there   was  no  
need   for   Justo   to  shell   out   his   limited   salary;   and   (c)   the   charge   of   infidelity   is  
unsubstantiated.   The   RTC   observed   that   the   relationship   between   the   parties  
started  well,  negating  the  existence  of  psychological  incapacity  on  either  party  at  
the   time   of   the   celebration   of   their   marriage.   And   lastly,   it   ruled   that   there  
appeared   to   be   a   collusion   between   them   as   both   sought   the   declaration   of  
nullity  of  their  marriage.  On  October  18,  2000,  this  Court  rendered  its  Decision  
finding  him  guilty  of  falsifying   Rosa’s   signature  in  bank  documents,  immorality,  
and  abandonment  of  his  family.  He  was  suspended  from  the  practice  of  law,  thus:  
the  respondent  is  suspended  from  the  practice  of  law  for  SIX  (6)  MONTHS  on  the  
charge   of   falsifying   his   wife’s   signature   in   bank   documents   and   other   related  
loan  instruments;  and  for  ONE  (1)  YEAR  from  the  practice  of  law  on  the  charges  
of   immorality   and   abandonment   of   his   own   family,   the  penalties   to   be   served  
simultaneously.   Let   notice   of   this   Decision   be   spread   in   respondent’s   record   as  
an   attorney,   and   notice   of   the   same   served   on   the   Integrated   Bar   of   the  
Philippines   and   on   the   Office   of   the   Court   Administrator   for   circulation   to   all   the  
courts  concerned.  On  December  8,  2000,  the  Court  of  Appeals  affirmed  the  RTC  
Decision   in   the   present   case,   holding   that   "the   evidence   of   the   plaintiff   (Rosa)  
falls   short   of   the   standards   required   by   law   to   decree   a   nullity   of   marriage."   It  
ruled   that   Justo’s   alleged   defects   or   idiosyncrasies   "were   sufficiently   explained  
by  the  evidence,"  Rosa  contends  that  this  Court’s  factual  findings  in  A.C.  No.  5333  
for   disbarment   are   conclusive   on   the   present   case.   Consequently,   the   Court   of  
Appeals   erred   in   rendering   contrary   factual   findings.   Also,   she   argues   that   she  
filed  the  instant  complaint  sometime  in  May,  1993  

Issues:  1)   Whether   the   factual   findings   of   this   Court   in   A.C.   No.   5333   are  
conclusive  on  the  presentcase;  2)  Whether  a  remand  of  this  case  to  the  RTC  for  
reception  of  expert  testimony  on  the  root  cause  of  Justo’s  alleged  psychological  
incapacity  is  necessary;  and3)  Whether  the  totality  of  evidence  in  the  case  shows  
psychological  incapacity  on  the  part  of  Justo  

Held:   1)   A   reading   of   the   Court   of  Appeals’   Decision   shows   that   she   has   no  
reason   to   feel   aggrieved.   In   fact,   the   appellate   court   even   assumed   that   her  
charges   "are   true,"   but   concluded   that   they   are   insufficient   to   declare   the  
marriage   void   on   the   ground   of   psychological   incapacity.   Justo's   alleged  
infidelity,  failure  to  support  his  family  and  alleged  abandonment  of  their  family  
home   are   true,   such   traits   are   at   best   indicators   that   he   is   unfit   to   become   an  
ideal  husband  and  father.  However,  by  themselves,  these  grounds  are  insufficient  
to  declare  the  marriage  void  due  to  an  incurable  psychological  incapacity.  These  
grounds,   we   must   emphasize,   do   not   manifest   that   he   was   truly   in   cognitive   of  
the   basic   marital   covenants   that   he   must   assume   and   discharge   as   a   married  
person.   While  they   may   manifest   the  "gravity"   of  his   alleged   psychological  
incapacity,   they   do   not   necessarily   show   ‘incurability’,   such   that   while   his   acts  
violated  the  covenants  of  marriage,  they  do  not  necessarily  show  that  such  acts  
show   an   irreparably   hopeless   state   of   psychological   incapacity   which   prevents  
him  from  undertaking  the  basic  obligations  of  marriage  in  the  future.  

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.  The  evidence  must  convince  
the  court  that  the  parties,  or  one  of  them,  were  mentally  or  psychically  ill  to  such  
an  extent  that  the  person  could  not  have  known  the  obligations  he  was  assuming,  
or   knowing   them,   could   not   have   given   valid   assumption   thereof.   Although   no  
example  of  such  incapacity  need  be  given  here  so  as  not  to  limit  the  application  
of   the   provision   under   the   principle   of   ejusdemgeneris,   nevertheless   such   root  
cause  must  be  identified  as  a  psychological  illness  and  its  incapacitating  nature  
fully  explained.   Expert   evidence   may   be   given   by  qualified   psychiatrists   and  
clinical   psychologist  \3)   ART.   36.  A   marriage   contracted  by   a   party  who,   at  the  
time   of   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.   Psychological  
incapacity   must   be   characterized   by   (a)   gravity;   (b)   juridical   antecedence;   and  
(c)  incurability.