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Justalero, April Anne C.

Persons and Family Law

July 7, 2014
Ocampo vs. Florenciano
107 Phil 35
February 23, 1960
Jose de Ocampo (Petitioner) and Serafina Florenciano (Respondent) got married on April
5, 1938 and as a result of such union, they begot several children.
Sometime in March 1951, Ocampo discovered that his wife was maintaining illicit
relations with Jose Arcalas.
He sent his wife to Manila to study beauty culture. Again, Ocampo discovered that aside
from Jose Arcalas, Serafina was going out with several other men.
Serafina left Ocampo after she finished her study and since then two lived separately.
After Ocampo caught his wife in the act of having illicit relations with Nelson Orzame on
June 18, 1955, he signified his intention of filing a petition for legal separation.
Serafina conformed to his intention provided that she will not be charged with adultery in
a criminal action.
Ocampo filed a petition for legal separation but the Court of First Instance of Nueva Ecija
dismissed it holding there was confession of judgment, plus condonation or consent to the
adultery and prescription which was affirmed by the Court of Appeals.
Whether or not a decree for legal separation be granted.
Yes, legal separation should be granted. First, on the issue of confession of judgment,
Florencianos admission to the investigating fiscal that she committed adultery, in the existence
of evidence of adultery other than such confession, is not the confession of judgment disallowed
by Art. 101. What is prohibited is a confession of judgment, a confession done in court or
through a pleading. There is evidence of the adultery independent of the defendants statement
agreeing to the legal separation, the decree of separation should be granted since it would not be
based on the confession but upon the evidence presented by the plaintiff. What the law prohibits
is a judgement based exclusively on defendants confession. Moreover, when the court learned
that the defendant equally desires the separation and admitted the commission of the offense, it
should be doubly careful lest a collusion exists. In Griffiths vs. Griffiths, collusion was defined
as the agreement between husband and wife for one of them to commit or to appear to commit,
or to be represented in court as having committed, a matrimonial offense, or to suppress evidence
of a valid defense, for the purpose of enabling the other to obtain a divorce. Second, on the

issue of condonation or consent, the Supreme Court held that the plaintiffs failure to actively
search for his adulterous wife and take her home does not constitute condonation or consent to
her adulterous relations since it was not his duty to search for her to bring her home. Hers was
the obligation to return.