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Case Title:

AURORA A. ANAYA, plaintiff-appellant,


vs.
FERNANDO O. PALAROAN, defendant-appellee.

Date: November 26, 1970


G.R. No.: G.R. No. L-27930
Nature of Action: Appeal from an order of
dismissal of lower court
Ponente: REYES, J.B.L., J.:
Topic: Grounds for Annulment of Marriage (Fraud)

Facts:
The complaint alleged, inter alia, that plaintiff Aurora and defendant Fernando were married on 4
December 1953; that defendant Fernando filed an action for annulment of the marriage on 7 January
1954 on the ground that his consent was obtained through force and intimidation; that judgment was
rendered therein on 23 September 1959 dismissing the complaint of Fernando, upholding the validity
of the marriage and granting Aurora's counterclaim; that (per paragraph IV) while the amount of the
counterclaim was being negotiated "to settle the judgment," Fernando had divulged to Aurora that
several months prior to their marriage he had pre-marital relationship with a close relative of his; and
that "the non-divulgement to her of the aforementioned pre-marital secret on the part of defendant
that definitely wrecked their marriage, which apparently doomed to fail even before it had hardly
commenced ... frank disclosure of which, certitude precisely precluded her, the Plaintiff herein from
going thru the marriage that was solemnized between them constituted 'FRAUD', in obtaining her
consent, within the contemplation of No. 4 of Article 85 of the Civil Code." She prayed for the
annulment of the marriage and for moral damages.
Defendant Fernando, in his answer, denied the allegation in paragraph IV of the complaint and denied
having had pre-marital relationship with a close relative; he averred that under no circumstance would
he live with Aurora, as he had escaped from her and from her relatives the day following their marriage
on 4 December 1953; that he denied having committed any fraud against her. He set up the defenses
of lack of cause of action and estoppel, for her having prayed in Civil Case No. 21589 for the validity of
the marriage and her having enjoyed the support that had been granted her. He counterclaimed for
damages for the malicious filing of the suit. Defendant Fernando did not pray for the dismissal of the
complaint but for its dismissal "with respect to the alleged moral damages."
Issue: Whether or not the non-disclosure to a wife by her husband of his pre-marital relationship with
another woman is a ground for annulment of marriage.
Ruling: (Direct Answer to Issue)
NO.
Ratio:
We must agree with the lower court that it is not. For fraud as a vice of consent in marriage, which may
be a cause for its annulment, comes under Article 85, No. 4, of the Civil Code, which provides:
ART. 85. A marriage may be annulled for any of the following causes, existing at the
time of the marriage:
xxx

xxx

xxx

(4) That the consent of either party was obtained by fraud, unless such party
afterwards, with full knowledge of the facts constituting the fraud, freely cohabited with
the other as her husband or his wife, as the case may be;
This fraud, as vice of consent, is limited exclusively by law to those kinds or species of
fraud enumerated in Article 86, as follows:
ART. 86. Any of the following circumstances shall constitute fraud referred to in number
4 of the preceding article:

(1) Misrepresentation as to the identity of one of the contracting parties;


(2) Non-disclosure of the previous conviction of the other party of a crime involving
moral turpitude, and the penalty imposed was imprisonment for two years or more;
(3) Concealment by the wife of the fact that at the time of the marriage, she was
pregnant by a man other than her husband.
No other misrepresentation or deceit as to character, rank, fortune or chastity shall
constitute such fraud as will give grounds for action for the annulment of marriage.
The intention of Congress to confine the circumstances that can constitute fraud as ground for
annulment of marriage to the foregoing three cases may be deduced from the fact that, of all the
causes of nullity enumerated in Article 85, fraud is the only one given special treatment in a
subsequent article within the chapter on void and voidable marriages. If its intention were otherwise,
Congress would have stopped at Article 85, for, anyway, fraud in general is already mentioned therein
as a cause for annulment. But Article 86 was also enacted, expressly and specifically dealing with
"fraud referred to in number 4 of the preceding article," and proceeds by enumerating the specific
frauds (misrepresentation as to identity, non-disclosure of a previous conviction, and concealment of
pregnancy), making it clear that Congress intended to exclude all other frauds or deceits. To stress
further such intention, the enumeration of the specific frauds was followed by the interdiction: "No
other misrepresentation or deceit as to character, rank, fortune or chastity shall constitute such fraud
as will give grounds for action for the annulment of marriage."
Non-disclosure of a husband's pre-marital relationship with another woman is not one of the
enumerated circumstances that would constitute a ground for annulment; and it is further excluded by
the last paragraph of the article, providing that "no other misrepresentation or deceit as to ... chastity"
shall give ground for an action to annul a marriage. While a woman may detest such non-disclosure of
premarital lewdness or feel having been thereby cheated into giving her consent to the marriage,
nevertheless the law does not assuage her grief after her consent was solemnly given, for upon
marriage she entered into an institution in which society, and not herself alone, is interested. The
lawmaker's intent being plain, the Court's duty is to give effect to the same, whether it agrees with the
rule or not.
But plaintiff-appellant Anaya emphasizes that not only has she alleged "non-divulgement" (the word
chosen by her) of the pre-marital relationship of her husband with another woman as her cause of
action, but that she has, likewise, alleged in her reply that defendant Fernando paid court to her
without any intention of complying with his marital duties and obligations and covertly made up his
mind not to live with her. Plaintiff-appellant contends that the lower court erred in ignoring these
allegations in her reply.
This second set of averments which were made in the reply (pretended love and absence of intention
to perform duties of consortium) is an entirely new and additional "cause of action." According to the
plaintiff herself, the second set of allegations is "apart, distinct and separate from that earlier averred
in the Complaint ..." (Record on Appeal, page 76). Said allegations were, therefore, improperly alleged
in the reply, because if in a reply a party-plaintiff is not permitted to amend or change the cause of
action as set forth in his complaint (Calo vs. Roldan, 76 Phil. 445), there is more reason not to allow
such party to allege a new and additional cause of action in the reply. Otherwise, the series of
pleadings of the parties could become interminable.
On the merits of this second fraud charge, it is enough to point out that any secret intention on the
husband's part not to perform his marital duties must have been discovered by the wife soon after the

marriage: hence her action for annulment based on that fraud should have been brought within four
years after the marriage. Since appellant's wedding was celebrated in December of 1953, and this
ground was only pleaded in 1966, it must be declared already barred.
FOR THE FOREGOING REASONS, the appealed order is hereby affirmed. No costs.
Relevant Dissent-Concurring Opinion/Notes: N/A

Case Title:
JOSE RUIZ, plaintiff and appellant,
vs. PELAGIA ATIENZA, defendant
and appellee.

Date: March 18, 1941


G.R. No.: No. 5986
Ponente: Bengzon, J.

Nature of Action: Annulment based on


force/intimidation/threat
Topic:
Facts: Jose Ruiz and Pelagia Atienza, both single, were sweethearts. Nine months later, she became an
unmarried mother. After the babys birth on Nov. 14, 1938, Pelagies father Jose Atienza, Atty.
Villavicencio her cousin-in-law, and three other persons visited Jose Ruiz at the boarding house where
he lived. They requested, and after some discussion, convinced him to marry Pelagia. With his cousin
Alfredo Asuncion, Jose went to Tanduay street where Pelagia was living, and from there went to the
Aglipayan Church at Maria Clara Street. They proceeded to secure a marriage license and later returned
to the same church where the marriage was celebrated in the evening.
His counsel has 'dramatized the visit of Jose Atienza and companions, and the "plans" drawn to force
Jose Ruiz into the marriage, Jose's passive and downcast attitude, all in an effort to maintainthe
proposition that Jose Ruiz went with them that afternoon "convinced" by the following "arguments":
the threats of the father supported by his "balisong"
the unveiled intimidation by Atty. Villavicencio that if he would not marry Pelagia Atienza, he would
have difficulty when he would take the bar examinations because, as he said, many have been
rejected admission to the bar on the ground of immorality; and
the promise of Atty. Villavicencio that Ruiz would be physically "safe" if he would go with .
It appears that in the course of the conversation during the visit, Ruiz made the statement that he could
not marry Pelagia because he was already a married man. This so aroused Jose Atienza that he grabbed
Ruiz' necktie, exclaiming: "So you mean to fool my daughter!" Those present intervened quickly, and
the dispute stopped.
Issue: W/N Jose Ruiz was forced into marrying Pelagia Atienza by the use of force, undue
intimidation or threat
Ruling: No. It was not sufficiently established that Jose Atienze inflicted forced, undue
intimidation or threat against Jose Ruiz.
Ratio: The flare of anger is easily understandable. But it is not sufficiently established that Jose
Atienzadisplayed any "balisong", or made any threat against the life of Ruiz. In fact, only a one-and-ahalf-inch knife was found in his possession by the policeman whom the companions of Ruiz called upon
seeing what they believed to be the beginning of trouble.
As to the threat to obstruct his admission to the Bar, by filing charges against him for immorality, the
authorities are unanimous that it is not such a duress as to constitute a reason for annulling the
marriage. And where a man marries under the threat of, or constraint from, a lawful prosecution for
seduction or bastardy, he cannot avoid the marriage on the ground of duress.
As to the promise by Atty. Villavicencio, it is apparent that when defendant was invited to go with them
and marry Pelagia, he had some fears that he might be subjected to bodily harm in retaliation for the
dishonor inflicted upon her family. For this reason, he had to be assured by Villavicencio that he would
be safe if he went with them. From this statement, we cannot infer what appellant's attorney would
cleverly infer, i. e., that Ruiz would not be safe if he did not follow them.
Appellant would make it appear that that afternoon Ruiz was practically kidnapped by Pelagia's relatives
until after the marriage ceremony. That cannot be true. He had many occasions to escape, as pointed
out in appellee's brief. He had companions in the house whom he could have asked for help. There was
even the policeman.

Now, considering that the law presumes strongly the validity of marriage once the formal ceremonies
have been completed, we are led to the conclusion that although plaintiff may not have looked upon
the ceremony as the happy culmination of youthful romance, still the evidence does not warrant a
pronouncement that his consent to it was obtained through force or intimidation.
The Marriage Law (sec 30, Act No. 3613) which, referring to "force"or "violence", does not seem to
include mere intimidation, at least where it does not in legal effect amount to force or violence. (See
article 1267, Civil Code.)

Case Title:

Date: 1940
G.R. No. 47063; 40 OG 263

Sarao vs. Guevarra

Nature of Action: action for annulment


Ponente:
Topic: Impotence

Facts:
Felix Sarao (plaintiff) and Pilar Guevarra (defendant) were married in Manila on June 3, 1936.
In the afternoon of the same day, Sarao tried to have carnal knowledge of Guevarra, but the
latter showed reluctance and begged him to wait until evening.
When night came, the plaintiff again approached the defendant and tried to have carnal act with
her, but she complained of pains in her private parts and he noticed some purulent matter
offensive to the smell coming out from her genital.
Every attempt on plaintiffs part to have carnal act with his wife failed because she would
complain of pains in her genital organs, and he did not want her to suffer.
Upon the advice of a physician, defendant submitted to an operation on Aug. 7, 1936, and as her
uterus and ovaries were affected with the tumor, these organs were removed with the consent
of the plaintiff.
The removal of said organs rendered defendant incapable of procreation, but not of copulation.
Plaintiff, however, declared that from the time he witnessed the operation he lost all desire to
have carnal act with her, and has tried not to do it since then.
Issue: W/N incapacity to procreate can be construed as physically incapable of entering into the
married state, and is a valid ground for annulment.
Ruling: (Direct Answer to Issue)
No.
Ratio:
No. Under the marriage law at that time, and as consistently applied in the provision in Art. 45 (5) of the
Family Code, marriage may be annulled if either party was, at the time of marriage, physically
incapable of entering into the married state, and such incapacity continues, and appears to be
incurable. It is held that the test of impotency is not the ability to procreate, but the ability to copulate.
In this case, the defendant was not impotent at the time the marriage was celebrated, as supported by
the opinion of the doctor that the existence of fibrous tumor in the ovaries did not necessarily render
her incapable of copulation or even procreation. The removal of her uterus and ovaries rendered her
sterile but did not make her unfit for sexual intercourse. Thus, the defendants sterility cannot be a
ground for annulment since what the law provides as a ground for annulment is the incapacity to
copulate, and not to procreate.

JOEL
JIMENEZ,
PLAINTIFF
AND
APPELLEE, VS. REMEDIOS CAIZARES,
DEFENDANT.
REPUBLIC
OF
THE
PHILIPPINES,
INTERVENOR
AND
APPELLANT.

August 31, 1960


G.R. No. L-12790
Nature of Action: Appeal
Ponente: PADILLA, J.:
Topic:
Voidable
Marriages
Impotence

Facts:
In a complaint filed on 7 June 1955 in the Court of First Instance of Zamboanga
the plaintiff Joel Jimenez prays for a decree annulling his marriage to the
defendant Remedios Canizares contracted on 3 August 1950 before a judge of the
municipal court of Zamboanga City, upon the following grounds:
o orifice of her genitals or vagina was too small to allow the penetration of a
male organ or penis for copulation
o the condition of her genitals as described above existed at the time of
marriage and continues to exist
o that for that reason he left the conjugal home two nights and one day after
they had been married.
On 17 December 1956 the Court entered an order requiring the defendant to
submit, to a physical examination by a competent lady physician to determine her
physical capacity for copulation and to submit, within ten days from receipt of the
order, a medical certificate on the result thereof. Defendant did not subject herself
to the required physical examination.
on 11 April 1957 the Court entered a decree annulling the marriage between the
plaintiff and the defendant.
On 26 April 1957 the city attorney filed a motion for reconsideration of the decree
thus entered, upon the ground, among others, that the defendant's impotency
has not been satisfactorily established as required by law; that she had not been
physically examined because she had refused to be so examined; that instead of
annulling the marriage the Court should have punished her for contempt of court
and compelled her to undergo a physical examination and submit a medical
certificate; and that the decree sought to be reconsidered would open the door to
married couples, who want to end their marriage to collude or connive with each
other by just alleging impotency of one of them.
He prayed that the complaint be dismissed or that the wife be subjected to a
physical examination.
Issue: Whether the marriage in question may be annulled on the strength only of the
lone testimony of the husband who claimed and testified that his wife was and is
impotent.
Ruling: Lone testimony of the husband is not enough case remanded to the
lower court for further proceedings
Ratio:

In the case at bar, the annulment of the marriage in question was decreed upon

the sole testimony of the husband who was expected to give testimony tending or
aiming at securing the annulment of his marriage he sought and seeks.
Whether the wife is really impotent cannot be deemed to have been satisfactorily
established, because from the commencement of the proceedings until the entry

of the decree she had abstained from taking part therein.


Although her refusal to be examined or failure to appear in court show
indifference on her part, yet from such attitude the presumption arising out of the
suppression of evidence could not arise or be inferred, because women of this
country are by nature coy, bashful and shy and would not submit to a physical
examination unless compelled to by competent authority.

This the Court may do without doing violence to and infringing upon her

constitutional right. A physical examination in this case is not self-incrimination.


She is not charged with any offense. She is not being compelled to be a witness
against herself. "Impotency being an abnormal condition should not be presumed.
The presumption is in favor of potency." The lone testimony of the husband that

his wife is physically incapable of sexual intercourse is insufficient to tear asunder


the ties that have bound them together as husband and wife.
Marriage in this country is an institution in which the community is deeply
interested. The state has surrounded it with safeguards to maintain its purity,
continuity and permanence. The security and stability of the state are largely
dependent upon it.
It is the interest and duty of each and every member of the community to prevent
the bringing about of a condition that would shake its foundation and ultimately
lead to its destruction. The incidents of the status are governed by law, not by will
of the parties. The law specifically enumerates the legal grounds, that must be
proved to exist by indubitable evidence, to annul a marriage.

Case Title: Lukban v. Republic

Date: February 29, 1956


G.R. No.: L-8942
Nature of Action: Petition for Declaration of
Civil Status
Nature of Action:
Topic: Marriage when one spouse is absent

Facts:
Lourdes G. Lukban, Petitioner herein, contracted marriage with Francisco Chuidian on December 10,
1933 at the Paco Catholic Church, Manila. On December 27, of the same year, Francisco left Lourdes
after a violent quarrel and since then he has not been heard from despite diligent search made by her.
She also inquired about him from his parents and friends but no one was able to indicate his
whereabouts. She has no knowledge if he is still alive, his last known address being Calle Merced, Paco,
Manila. She believes that he is already dead because he had been absent for more than twenty years,
and because she intends to marry again, she desires that her civil status be defined in order that she
may be relieved of any liability under the law.
The Solicitor General opposed the petition on the ground that the same is not authorized by law.
After Petitioner had presented her evidence, the court sustained the opposition and dismissed the
petition. Hence this appeal.
Lukban claims that the remedy she is seeking for can be granted in this case because in the case of
Hagans vs. Wislizenus, 42 Phil., 880, it was declared that a special proceeding is an application or
proceeding to establish the status or right of a party, or a particular fact; but, as already said, that
remedy can be invoked if the purpose is to seek the declaration of death of the husband, and not, as in
the present case, to establish a presumption of death.
Lukban also claims that the present petition can be entertained because article 349 of the Revised
Penal Code, in defining bigamy, provides that a person commits that crime if he contracts a second
marriage before the absent spouse has been declared presumptively dead by means of a judgment
rendered in the proper proceedings.
Issue:
Whether or not Lukban needs to secure a judicial declaration of presumptive death before
she can remarry.
Ruling: (Direct Answer to Issue)
No.
Ratio:
The court ruled that Lukban does not need to secure a judicial declaration of presumptive death of her
husband because the Civil Code and not the Family Code governs their marriage which was celebrated
in 1933. It provides that for the purposes of the civil marriage law, it is not necessary to have the
former spouse judicially declared an absentee. The declaration of absence made in accordance with the
provisions of the Civil Code has for its sole purpose to enable the taking of the necessary precautions
for the administration of the estate of the absentee. For the celebration of civil marriage, however, the
law only requires that the former spouse has been absent for seven consecutive years at the time of
the second marriage, that the spouse present does not know his or her former spouse to be living, that
each former spouse is generally reputed to be dead and the spouse present so believes at the time of
the celebration of the marriage.

Further the words proper proceedings used in Article 349 of the RPC can only refer to those
authorized by law such as those which refer to the administration or settlement of the estate of a
deceased person.
Relevant Dissent-Concurring Opinion/Notes:
Missing:
Gue v. Republic
People v Masinsin
Case Title:
AGUEDA BENEDICTO, Plaintiff-Appellee, v.
ESTEBAN DE LA RAMA, DefendantAppellant.

Date:
8 December 1903
G.R. No.: 1056
Nature of Action:
Action for Divorce
Ponente:
Topic: Legal Separation and Divorce

Facts:
This is an action for divorce. The complaint filed alleged, as the grounds therefor,
abandonment and adultery.
The answer filed by the defendant charged the plaintiff with adultery as well while
denying the adultery imputed to the defendant, and asked for a divorce.
Judgment was rendered on July 5, 1902, in favor of the plaintiff, granting her a divorce
and Php81,042.76 as her share of the conjugal property. The defendant appealed to the
judgment and moved for a new trial on the ground that the facts found were not justified
by the evidence. And, in addition, there is a controversy relating to the jurisdiction of the
CFI to rule on matters of divorce.
This motion was denied. Now, the case was, again, appealed.
Issue:
Whether or not the trial courts have jurisdiction over the case of divorce
Whether or not the parties are entitled to divorce even though both are guilty of adultery
Ruling:
Yes. The CFI has jurisdiction on the case of divorce in place of the ecclesiastical courts.
No. Neither parties are entitled to divorce the other and that one has condoned the
others acts.
Ratio:
On Jurisdiction
The partidas recognized adultery as a ground for divorce and thus giving the CFI legal
basis for its jurisdiction.
In the royal cedula of Carlos, dated May 18, 1680, declaring the force of this compilation,
the commands of this Law 2 are practically repeated. By the operation of this law, first
enacted in 1530, those laws of the partidas herein before referred to relating to divorce,
upon the discovery and settlement of the Philippines became at once effective therein.
They have remained in force since as civil laws of the state as distinguished from the
laws of the church. It may be added also that upon them.
Therefore, according to the civil as well as the canonical law in force at the commission of

that offense gave the injured party the right to a divorce. That provision of the
substantive civil law was not repealed by the change of sovereignty. The complete
separation under the American Government of church and state, while it changed the
tribunal in which this right should be enforced, could not affect the right itself. The fact
that the ecclesiastical courts no longer exercise such power is not important. The
jurisdiction formerly possessed by them is now vested in Courts of First Instance, by
virtue of Act No. 136. Section 56, first and fifth paragraph of that act, provides that
"Courts of First Instance shall have original jurisdiction, first, in all civil actions in which
the subject of litigation is not capable of pecuniary estimation; fifth, . . . and in all such
special cases and proceedings as are not otherwise provided for."

On Capacity to Divorce
By Law 6, title 9, partida 4, the wife can defeat the husbands suit for divorce for by
proving that he has pardoned her. But we have found no laws in the partidas which say
that the effect of that pardon would be so far-reaching as to entitle her to a divorce
against him in a case like the present one.
The wife was also guilty of adultery as was evidenced by a letter to corporal of the civil
guard named Zabal and that she begged the plaintiff to forgive her of her actions.
The possible existence of condonation between the two is not the consideration but the
fact that both committed adultery and therefore does not have the right to divorce one
another.
It is said that if the plaintiff is guilty the defendant has condoned the offense. It is not
necessary to determine upon this point where the truth lies for two reasons: (1) the court
below made no finding of fact on the subject; (2) even if it had found that there was
condonation this would not have entitled the plaintiff to a divorce.
Other Points Historical Background
The Spanish law is incorporated with some provisions from Canon law. More specifically,
it applied the rues of divorce which is that there are only two grounds for divorce:
adultery and the changing of religion of one of the spouses.
Furthermore, if the wife offends her husband by the crime of fornication or adultery, this
is another reason which we say may properly be a ground for divorce. The accusation is
to be brought before the judge of the holy church and proof made of the fornication or
adultery, as set forth in the preceding title. The same would result should one of the
spouses commit spiritual fornication by becoming a heretic or a Moor or a Jew, if he or
she should refuse to eschew this evil. And the reason why this separation which is
authorized by reason of these two things, either religion or fornication, is properly called
divorce, in distinction from separation which results from other impediments, is that,
although it separates those who were married as stated in this law and the preceding
one, the marriage nevertheless subsists, and thus it is that neither one of them can
contract a second marriage at any time excepting in the case of a separation granted by
reason of adultery, in which case the surviving spouse may remarry after the death of
the other."

Missing: In re Atty. Rufillo Bucena


Case Title: GRACE J. GARCIA, a.k.a.
GRACE J. GARCIA-RECIO, petitioner,
vs.
REDERICK A. RECIO, respondents.

Date: October 2, 2001


G.R. No.: G.R. No. 138322
Nature of Action: Petition for Review
under Rule 45 seeking to nullify the
Decision and Order of RTC Cabanatuan.
Ponente: PANGANIBAN, J.
Topic: Divorce decreed abroad

FACTS:
1. Rederick A. Recio is a Filipino. He was married to Editha Samson, an
Australian on March 1, 1987.
2. On May 18, 1989, a divorce decree was issued by the Australian family
court.
3. By June 26, 1992, herein respondent became an Australian Citizen. He
married the petitioner on January 12, 1994 in Our Lady of Perpetual Help
Church in Cabanatuan City. In their application for marriage license, he
declared that he was single and Filipino.
4. By October 22, 1995, petitioner and respondent lived separately without
prior judicial dissolution of their marriage. They were both still in Australia
and their assets were subsequently divided therein pursuant with the
Statutory Declarations secured in Australia.
5. In March 3, 1998 after their de facto separation, petitioner filed for a
Complaint for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage in the court on the ground of
bigamy citing that the respondent had a prior and subsisting marriage at
the time of their marriage in January 1994. She also claimed that she
learned of the respondents marriage with Editha Samson in November
1997.
6. Respondent averred: petitioner knew as far as 1993 of his previous
marriage with Editha Samson and its subsequent dissolution. Moreover, he
claimed that his previous marriage had been validly dissolved by a divorce
decree obtained in Australia in 1989. This effectively capacitated him to
marry again this time, to the petitioner.
7. On July 8, 1998, while the suit for declaration for nullity is still pending,
respondent was able to secure a divorce decree from the Family Court in
Australia citing that the marriage was irretrievably broken down.
Respondent in his answer prayed the dismissal of the complaint on
the ground that it stated no cause of action.
SolGen agreed.
8. TC ruled: declared the marriage dissolved on the ground that the divorce
issued in Australia was valid and recognized in the PH. It deemed the
marriage ended, but not on the basis of any defect in an essential element
of marriage: lack of legal capacity to remarry. The Australian divorce
ultimately ended the marriage, therefore there was no more marital union
to nullify or annul.
Issues:
1. Whether or not the divorce decree obtained by the respondent was
sufficiently proven under Philippine Law?
2. Whether or not the issuance of a divorce decree capacitated the
respondent to remarry again?

Ruling: YES/ NO
WHEREFORE, in the interest of orderly procedure and substantial justice,
we REMAND the case to the court a quo for the purpose of receiving evidence which
conclusively show respondent's legal capacity to marry petitioner; and failing in that, of
declaring the parties' marriage void on the ground of bigamy, as above discussed. No
costs.
Ratio:
First Issue: Proving the Divorce Between Respondent and Editha Samson: Petitioner
assails the trial court's recognition of the divorce between respondent and Editha
Samson. Citing Adong v. Cheong Seng Gee,20 petitioner argues that the divorce decree,
like any other foreign judgment, may be given recognition in this jurisdiction only upon
proof of the existence of (1) the foreign law allowing absolute divorce and (2) the
alleged divorce decree itself. She adds that respondent miserably failed to establish
these elements.
Petitioner adds that, based on the first paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code,
marriages solemnized abroad are governed by the law of the place where they were
celebrated (the lex loci celebrationist). In effect, the Code requires the presentation of
the foreign law to show the conformity of the marriage in question to the legal
requirements of the place where the marriage was performed.
At the outset, we lay the following basic legal principles as the take-off points for our
discussion. Philippine law does not provide for absolute divorce; hence, our courts
cannot grant it.21 A marriage between two Filipinos cannot be dissolved even by a
divorce obtained abroad, because of Articles 1522 and 1723 of the Civil Code.24 In mixed
marriages involving a Filipino and a foreigner, Article 26 25 of the Family Code allows the
former to contract a subsequent marriage in case the divorce is "validly obtained
abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry." 26 A divorce obtained
abroad by a couple, who are both aliens, may be recognized in the Philippines,
provided it is consistent with their respective national laws. 27
A comparison between marriage and divorce, as far as pleading and proof are
concerned, can be made. Van Dorn v. Romillo Jr. decrees that "aliens may obtain
divorces abroad, which may be recognized in the Philippines, provided they are valid
according to their national law."28 Therefore, before a foreign divorce decree can be
recognized by our courts, the party pleading it must prove the divorce as a fact and
demonstrate its conformity to the foreign law allowing it. 29 Presentation solely of the
divorce decree is insufficient.
Divorce as a Question of Fact: Before a foreign judgment is given presumptive
evidentiary value, the document must first be presented and admitted in evidence. 30 A
divorce obtained abroad is proven by the divorce decree itself. Indeed the best
evidence of a judgment is the judgment itself.31 The decree purports to be a written act

or record of an act of an officially body or tribunal of a foreign country. 32


Under Sections 24 and 25 of Rule 132, on the other hand, 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 33 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.34
The divorce decree between respondent and Editha Samson appears to be an
authentic one issued by an Australian family court.35 However, appearance is not
sufficient; compliance with the aforemetioned rules on evidence must be
demonstrated.
Fortunately for respondent's cause, when the divorce decree of May 18, 1989 was
submitted in evidence, counsel for petitioner objected, not to its admissibility, but only
to the fact that it had not been registered in the Local Civil Registry of Cabanatuan
City.36 The trial court ruled that it was admissible, subject to petitioner's
qualification.37Hence, it was admitted in evidence and accorded weight by the judge.
Indeed, petitioner's failure to object properly rendered the divorce decree admissible
as a written act of the Family Court of Sydney, Australia.38
Compliance with the quoted articles (11, 13 and 52) of the Family Code is not
necessary; respondent was no longer bound by Philippine personal laws after he
acquired Australian citizenship in 1992.39 Naturalization is the legal act of adopting an
alien and clothing him with the political and civil rights belonging to a
citizen.40 Naturalized citizens, freed from the protective cloak of their former states,
don the attires of their adoptive countries. By becoming an Australian, respondent
severed his allegiance to the Philippines and the vinculum juris that had tied him to
Philippine personal laws.
Burden of Proving Australian Law: The burden of proof lies with "the party who alleges
the existence of a fact or thing necessary in the prosecution or defense of an
action."41 In civil cases, plaintiffs have the burden of proving the material allegations of
the complaint when those are denied by the answer; and defendants have the burden
of proving the material allegations in their answer when they introduce new
matters.42 Since the divorce was a defense raised by respondent, the burden of proving
the pertinent Australian law validating it falls squarely upon him.
It is well-settled in our jurisdiction that our courts cannot take judicial notice of foreign
laws.43 Like any other facts, they must be alleged and proved. Australian marital laws
are not among those matters that judges are supposed to know by reason of their
judicial function.44 The power of judicial notice must be exercised with caution, and
every reasonable doubt upon the subject should be resolved in the negative.
Second Issue: In its strict legal sense, divorce means the legal dissolution of a lawful
union for a cause arising after marriage. But divorces are of different types. The two
basic ones are (1) absolute divorce or a vinculo matrimonii and (2) limited divorce or a
mensa et thoro. The first kind terminates the marriage, while the second suspends it
and leaves the bond in full force.45 There is no showing in the case at bar which type of

divorce was procured by respondent.


Respondent presented a decree nisi or an interlocutory decree a
conditional or provisional judgment of divorce. It is in effect the same as a
separation from bed and board, although an absolute divorce may follow after the
lapse of the prescribed period during which no reconciliation is effected. 46
Even after the divorce becomes absolute, the court may under some foreign statutes
and practices, still restrict remarriage. Under some other jurisdictions, remarriage may
be limited by statute; thus, the guilty party in a divorce which was granted on the
ground of adultery may be prohibited from remarrying again. The court may allow a
remarriage only after proof of good behavior.47
On its face, the herein Australian divorce decree contains a restriction that reads:
"1. A party to a marriage who marries again before this decree becomes
absolute (unless the other party has died) commits the offence of bigamy." 48
This quotation bolsters our contention that the divorce obtained by respondent
may have been restricted. It did not absolutely establish his legal capacity to
remarry according to his national law. Hence, we find no basis for the ruling of the trial
court, which erroneously assumed that the Australian divorce ipso facto restored
respondent's capacity to remarry despite the paucity of evidence on this matter.
We also reject the claim of respondent that the divorce decree raises a disputable
presumption or presumptive evidence as to his civil status based on Section 48, Rule
3949 of the Rules of Court, for the simple reason that no proof has been presented on
the legal effects of the divorce decree obtained under Australian laws.

Significance of the Certificate of Legal Capacity


Petitioner argues that the certificate of legal capacity required by Article 21 of the
Family Code was not submitted together with the application for a marriage license.
According to her, its absence is proof that respondent did not have legal capacity to
remarry.
We clarify. To repeat, the legal capacity to contract marriage is determined by the
national law of the party concerned. The certificate mentioned in Article 21 of the
Family Code would have been sufficient to establish the legal capacity of respondent,
had he duly presented it in court. A duly authenticated and admitted certificate is
prima facie evidence of legal capacity to marry on the part of the alien applicant for a
marriage license.50
As it is, however, there is absolutely no evidence that proves respondent's legal
capacity to marry petitioner.
Relevant Dissent-Concurring Opinion/Notes: N/A

Case Title:

Date: November 2, 1916

ELOISA GOITIA Y DE LA CAMARA, plaintiffappellant, vs. JOSE CAMPOS RUEDA,


defendant-appellee.

G.R. No.: G.R. No. 11263


Ponente: TRENT, J.; SECOND DIVISION

Nature of Action:
Topic: Grounds for legal sep; Sexual
Perversion
Facts: This is an action by the wife against her husband for support outside of the conjugal
domicile. From a judgment sustaining the defendants demurrer upon the ground that the facts alleged
in the complaint do not state a cause of action, followed by an order dismissing the case after the
plaintiff declined to amend, the latter appealed.
It was urged in the first instance, and the court so held, that the defendants' cannot be compelled to
support the plaintiff, except in his own house, unless it be by virtue of a judicial decree granting her a
divorce or separation from the defendant.
- The parties were legally married in the city of Manila on January 7, 1915, and immediately
thereafter established their residence at 115 Calle San Marcelino, where they lived together for
about a month, when the plaintiff returned to the home of her parents. he pertinent allegations of
the complaint are as follows:
"That the defendant, one month after he had contracted marriage with the plaintiff,
demanded of her that she perform unchaste and lascivious acts on his genital
organs; that the plaintiff spurned the obscene demands of the defendant and refused
to perform any act other than legal and valid cohabitation; that the defendant, since
that date had continually on other successive dates, made similar lewd and
indecorous demands on his wife, the plaintiff, who always spurned them, which just
refusals of the plaintiff exasperated the defendant and induced him to maltreat her
by word and deed and inflict injuries upon her lips, her face and different parts of
her body; and that, as the plaintiff was unable by any means to induce the defendant to
desist from his repugnant desires and cease from maltreating her, she was obliged to leave
the conjugal abode and take refuge in the home of her parents."
Issue: W/N Eloisa Goitia may compel her husband to give her support, even outside of the
conjugal home
Ruling: Yes.
Ratio:
ART. (149) 49. The person obliged to give support may, at his option, satisfy it, either by paying the
pension that may be fixed or by receiving and maintaining in his own home the person having the right
to the same."
Article 152 of the Civil Code gives the instances when the obligation to give support shall cease. The
failure of the wife to live with her husband is not one of them.
The above quoted provision of the Law of Civil Marriage and the Civil Code fix the duties and
obligations of the spouses. The spouses must be faithful to assist, and support each other. the husband
must live with and protect his wife. The wife must obey and live with her husband and follow him when
he changes his domicile or residence, except when he removes to a foreign country. But the husband
who is obliged to support his wife may, at his option, do so by paying her a fixed pension or by
receiving and maintaining her in his own home.
The mere act of marriage creates an obligation on the part of the husband to support his
wife. This obligation is founded not so much on the express or implied terms of the contract of
marriage as on the natural and legal duty of the husband; an obligation, the enforcement of which is of
such vital concern to the state itself that the law will not permit him to terminate it by his own wrongful
acts in driving his wife to seek protection in the parental home. A judgment for separate maintenance is
not due and payable either as damages or as a penalty; nor is it a debt in the strict legal sense of that
term, but rather a judgment calling for the performance of a duty made specific by the mandate of the

sovereign. This is done from necessity and with a view to preserve the public peace and the purity of
the wife; as where the husband makes so base demands upon his wife and indulges in the habit of
assaulting her. the pro tanto separation resulting from a decree for separate support is not an
impeachment of that public policy by which marriage is regarded as so sacred and inviolable in its
nature; it is merely a stronger policy overruling a weaker one; and except in so far only as such
separation is tolerated as a means of preserving the public peace and morals may be considered, it
does not in any respect whatever impair the marriage contract or for any purpose place the wife in the
situation of a feme sole.
Relevant Dissent-Concurring Opinion/Notes:
Note:
The wife, who is forced to leave the conjugal abode by her husband without fault on her part, may
maintain an action against the husband for separate maintenance when he has no other remedy,
notwithstanding the provisions of article 149 of the Civil Code giving the person who is obliged to
furnish support the option to satisfy it either by paying a fixed pension or by receiving and maintaining
in his own home the one having the right to the same.
MORELAND, J., concurring:
I based my vote in this case upon the ground that a husband cannot, by his own wrongful acts, relieve
himself from the duty to support his wife imposed by law; and where a husband, by wrongful, illegal,
and unbearable conduct, drives his wife from the domicile fixed by him, he cannot take advantage of
her departure to abrogate the law applicable to the marital relation and repudiate his duties
thereunder. In law and for all purposes within its purview, the wife still remains an inmate of the
conjugal domicile; for I regard it as a principle of law universally recognized that where a person by his
wrongful and illegal acts creates a condition which under ordinary circumstances would produce the
loss of rights or status pertaining to another, the law will, whenever necessary to protect fully the rights
or status of the person affected by such acts, regard the condition by such acts created as not existing
and will recur to and act upon the original situation of the parties to determine their relative rights or
the status of the person adversely affected.

Case Title:
People vs. Guadalupe Zapanta and
Dalmacio Bondoc

Date: May 16, 1951


G.R. No. L-3047
Nature of Action: Complaint for Adultery
Ponente: Padilla, J.
Topic: Grounds for Legal Separation;
Sexual infidelity or perversion

Facts:
1. In the CFI of Pampanga a complaint for adultery was filed by Andres Bondoc
against Guadalupe Zapata, his wife, and Dalmacio Bondoc, her paramour, for
cohabiting and having repeated sexual intercourse during the period from the
year 1946 to 14 March 1947, the date of the filing of the complaint, Dalmacio
Bondoc knowing his codefendant to be a married woman (criminal case No. 426).
2. The defendant-wife entered a plea of guilty and was sentenced to suffer four
months of arresto mayor which penalty she served.
3. In the same court, on 17 September 1948, the offended husband filed another
complaint for adulterous acts committed by his wife and her paramour from 15
March 1947 to 17 September 1948, the date of the filing of the second complaint
(criminal case No. 735).
4. On 21 February 1949, each of the defendants filed a motion to quash the
complaint on the ground that they would be twice put in jeopardy of punishment
for the same offense.
5. The trial court upheld the contention of the defendants and quashed the second
complaint. From the order sustaining the motions to quash the prosecution has
appealed.
6. The trial court held that the adulterous acts charged in the first and second
complaints must be deemed one continuous offense, the defendants in both
complaints being the same and identical persons and the two sets of unlawful
acts having taken place continuously during the years 1946, 1947 and part of
1948, and "that the acts or two sets of acts that gave rise to the crimes of
adultery complained of in both cases constitute one and the same offense, within
the scope and meaning of the constitutional provision that No person shall be
twice put in jeopardy of punishment for the same offense.
Issue: WON the adulterous acts charged in the first and second complaints must be
deemed one continuous offense.
Ruling: NO.
Adultery is a crime of result and not of tendency, as the Supreme Court of Spain has
held; it is an instantaneous crime which is consummated and exhausted or completed at
the moment of the carnal union. Each sexual intercourse constitutes a crime of adultery.
True, two or more adulterous acts committed by the same defendants are against the
same person the offended husband, the same status the union of the husband and
wife by their marriage, and the same community represented by the State for its interest
in maintaining and preserving such status. But this identity of the offended party, status
and society does not argue against the commission of the crime of adultery as many
times as there were carnal acts consummated, for as long as the status remain
unchanged, the nexus undissolved and unbroken, an encroachment or trespass upon that
status constitutes a crime. There is no constitutional or legal provision which bars the
filing of as many complaints for adultery as there were adulterous acts committed, each
constituting one crime.

The notion or concept of a continuous crime has its origin in the juridical fiction favorable
to the law transgressors and in many a case against the interest of society. For it to exist
there should be plurality of acts performed separately during a period of time; unity of
penal provision infringed upon or violated; and unity of criminal intent or purpose, which
means that two or more violations of the same penal provision are united in one and the
same intent leading to the perpetration of the same criminal purpose or aim. In the
instant case the last unity does not exist, because as already stated the culprits
perpetrate the crime in every sexual intercourse and they need not do another or other
adulterous acts to consummate it. After the last act of adultery had been committed as
charged in the first complaint, the defendants again committed adulterous acts not
included in the first complaint and for which the second complaint was filed. It was held
by the Supreme Court of Spain that another crime of adultery was committed, if the
defendants, after their provisional release during the pendency of the case in which they
were later on convicted, had sexual intercourse up to the time when they were sent to
prison to serve the penalty imposed upon them.
Another reason why a second complaint charging the commission of adulterous acts not
included in the first complaint does not constitute a violation of the double jeopardy
clause of the constitution is that, if the second complaint places the defendants twice in
jeopardy of punishment for the same offense, the adultery committed by the male
defendant charged in the second complaint, should he be absolved from, or acquitted of,
the first charge upon the evidence that he did not know that his codefendant was a
married woman, would remain or go unpunished. The defense set up by him against the
first charge upon which he was acquitted would no longer be available, because at the
time of the commission of the crime charged in the second complaint, he already knew
that this codefendant was a married woman and yet he continued to have carnal
knowledge of her. Even if the husband should pardon his adulterous wife, such pardon
would not exempt the wife and her paramour from criminal liability for adulterous acts
committed after the pardon was granted, because the pardon refers to previous and not
to subsequent adulterous acts.

Case Title:
FROILAN C. GANDIONCO, petitioner,
vs.
HON. SENEN C. PEARANDA, as
Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial
Court of Misamis Oriental, Branch 18,
Cagayan de Oro City, and TERESITA S.
GANDIONCO, respondents.

Date: November 27, 1987


G.R. No. 79284
Nature of Action: special civil action
for certiorari
Ponente: PADILLA, J.
Topic: Sexual infidelity or perversion

Facts:
Teresita Gandionco, the legal wife of the petitioner, filed with RTC-Misamis Oriental a
complaint against petitioner for legal separation, on the ground of concubinage, with a
petition for support and payment of damages. Private respondent also filed with the MTC,
General Santos City, a criminal complaint against petitioner for concubinage.
In this recourse, petitioner contends that the civil action for legal separation and the
incidents consequent thereto, such as, application for support pendente lite, should be
suspended in view of the criminal case for concubinage filed against him the private
respondent.
Issue: W/N the civil action for legal separation should be suspended in view of the filing
of criminal case for concubinage against petitioner.
Ruling: (Direct Answer to Issue)
No. As earlier noted this action for legal separation is not to recover civil liability, in the
main, but is aimed at the conjugal rights of the spouses and their relations to each other,
within the contemplation of Articles 7 to 108, of the Civil Code.
A decree of legal separation, on the ground of concubinage, may be issued upon proof by
preponderance of evidence in the action for legal separation. No criminal proceeding or
conviction is necessary.

Ratio:
It is not mere sexual infidelity that constitutes the ground for legal separation. Such
infidelity must constitute adultery or concubinage as defined by the Revised Penal Code.
It may be noted that under Article 55(6) of the Family Code of the Philippines (Executive
Order No. 209 as ammended) soon to take effect, sexual infidelity or perversion of either
spouse has replaced adultery on the part of the wife and concubinage on the part of the
husband as defined by the Revised Penal Code (Art. 97, New Civil Code) as one of the
grounds for legal separation.

***Caution on this one***


Syllabus states: Munoz v Barrios (CA) 51 OG 5247 - however, upon exerting best efforts, I
really couldn't find this one... BUT.. I came across this case Munoz v Del Barrio April 15, 1955
G.R. No. 12506-R and coincidentally, the topic is the same (Attempt on the life of the other
spouse) so decided to digest this one... Hope this is the real case. Thanks!
FELICIDAD P. MUOZ, petitioner and
appellant, vs. JOSE DEL BARRIO, respondent
and appellee

April 15, 1955


G.R. No. 12506-R.
Nature of Action: APPEAL from a
judgment of the Court of First Instance of
Bulacan. Ysip, J.
Ponente: FELIX, J.:
Topic: LegSep Attempt on the life
of the other spous

Facts:
Felicidad P. Muoz and Jose del Barrio were
Since their marriage the couple lived together as husband and wife for the
ensuing six months in the house of the husbands father at Rizal Avenue, Manila,
and then moved their residence to the municipality of Maycawayan, Bulacan. Out
of this union were born Felix Luis del Barrio and Maria Teresa del Barrio who must
be actually 11 and 9 years old, respectively.
It seems that during their married life this couple had frequent quarrels, on which
occasions the husband maltreated his wife by deed, and because the latter was
unable to bear such punishment, in 1947 they unceremoniously separated, the
wife staying in Meycawayan and the husband in the house of his father at 2110
Rizal Avenue, Manila. Notwithstanding this separation of dwellings they met each
other in the City of Manila, and the wife claims that in December, 1950, or
January, 1951, and in September of the latter year she was again maltreated by
her husband.
Respondent has made several attempts on the life of the herein petitioner which
compelled her to live separately and apart from the respondent since 1947; and
that respondent has not provided support for petitioner and their children. Hence
she prays the court (among others): (a) that a decree be entered for the legal
separation of petitioner from respondent.
After hearing the Lower Court rendered decision the dispositive part of which,
translated into English, is as follows:
o IN VIEW OF THESE CONSIDERATIONS, the Court is of the opinion and so
holds that the present complaint must be, as it is hereby, dismissed for
lack of merits; without costs.
Not satisfied with the outcome of her petition, Felicidad P. Muoz appealed from
said judgment
In the case at bar the alleged maltreatments to the wife by the husband occurred
before their separation a mensa et thoro in 1947 must not have amounted to said
husbands attempts on the life of his wife, since the latter did not institute any
action for the legal separation from him upon the effectivity of the Civil Code on
August 30, 1950, and this case was only brought to court on October 26, 1951,
after the alleged maltreatment of September 1951 had taken place.
Therefore, in this appeal we only have to determine whether the maltreatments
that appellant suffered at the hands of the respondent after their separation of
dwelling, which allegedly occurred in December, 1950, or January, 1951, and

September of the latter year, furnish ground for the legal separation applied for
under paragraph 2 of Article 97 of the Civil Code.
In appellants brief mention is made of the testimonies of Jovita Faustino, a tenant
of apartment No. 2068 Ipil St., Manila, owned by appellants father, Felix Muoz,
of Meycawayan, Bulacan, and referring to the quarrel that the spouses had in
March of 1950; of Faustino Mallari, patrolman in the Manila Police Department,
referring to the spouses encounter in December, 1950, or January, 1951; of
appellants counsel, Attorney Manuel M. Macias, relative to the occasion in which
the spouses met at his office on or about September 30, 1951; and of appellant
herself. The maltreatment referred to by Jovita Faustino consisted merely in
appelles giving a fist blow on the face of appellant. Patrolman Mallari did not
witness the maltreatment on which he testified, for he was called by appellant to
intervene in the quarrel between the spouses when it was already over, and the
only thing he noticed was that she was crying and that there were certain
scratches on her brow and cheeks and on certain points of the neck which were
blackened (ecchymosis). About the quarrel spoken of by Attorney Macias, the
latter declared that appelle boxed his wife on the abdomen, pulled her hair and
had also twisted her neck when said attorney, Leoncio Santos and Jose Enriquez
separated petitioner and respondent.

Issue: WON the ground of attempt by one spouse against the life of the
other is present in the case at bar.
Ruling: No
Ratio:
An attempt on the life of a person implies that the actor in the attempt is moved
by an intention to kill the person against whom the attempt is made, and after a
careful examination of the evidence produced by appellant we cannot make up
our mind to declare that the alleged maltreatments of respondent to his wife were
moved by such intent to kill. On the contrary, we share the opinion of the trial
judge who declared that said maltreatments cannot constitute attempts on the
life of appellant as provided in Article 97, No.2, of the Civil Code of the Philippines.
From the second edition of the Revised Penal Code by Dean Vicente J. Francisco
Book II, part 1, pp. 671-672 we copy the following:
In the prosecutions for frustrated or attempted homicide, the intention to take
life must be proved with the same degree of certainty as is required with respect
to other elements of the crime, and the inference of such intent should not be
drawn in the absence of circumstances sufficient to prove such intention beyond
reasonable doubt (People vs. Villanueva, 51 Phil., 448). It is absolutely necessary
that the homicidal intent be evidenced by adequate acts which at the time of their
execution were unmistakably calculated to produce the death of the victim, since
the crime of frustrated or attempted homicide is one in which, more than in any
other case, the penal law is based upon the material results produced by the
criminal act. It is not proper or just to attribute to the delinquent a specific intent
to commit the higher crime in the absence of proof to justify such a conclusion
(U.S. vs. Taguibao, 1 Phil., 16).

Case Title:
ELENA CONTRERAS, plaintiff-appellant, vs. CESAR J.
MACARAIG, defendant-appellee.

Date: May 29, 1970


G.R. No.: G.R. No. L-29138
Nature of Action: Action for Legal Separation
Ponente: Dizon,J.
Topic: When may petition be filed?

Facts:
Plaintiff and defendant were married. Out of their Marriage, three children were born. All the children are in the care of plaintiff
wife.
Sometime in 1958, the couple acquired rights, as lessee and purchaser under a conditional sale agreement, to own a house and lot,
of the Philamlife Homes in Quezon City which they transferred in favor of their three children on October 29, 1958. Installment
payments are being made by plaintiff's father. The spouses own no other conjugal property.
Immediately before the election of 1961, defendant was employed as manager of the printing establishment owned by plaintiff's
father known as the MICO Offset. In that capacity, defendant met and came to know Lily Ann Alcala, who place orders with
MICO Offset for propaganda materials for Mr. Sergio Osmea, who was then a Vice-Presidential candidate. After the elections of
1961, defendant resigned from MICO Offset to be a special agent at Malacaang. He began to be away so often and to come
home very late. Upon plaintiff's inquiry, defendant explained that he was out on a series of confidential missions.
In September, 1962, Avelino Lubos, driver of the family car, told plaintiff that defendant was living in Singalong with Lily Ann
Alcala. When defendant, the following October, returned to the conjugal home, plaintiff refrained from verifying Lubos' report
from defendant in her desire not to anger nor drive defendant away. Although plaintiff, in April 1963, also received rumors that
defendant was seen with a woman who was on the family way on Dasmarias St., she was so happy that defendant again return to
the family home in May, 1963 that she once more desisted from discussing the matter with him because she did not wish to
precipitate a quarrel and drive him away. All this while, defendant, if and whenever he returned to the family fold, would only
stay for two or three days but would be gone for a period of about a month.
After plaintiff received reports that Lily Ann Alcala had given birth to a baby, she sent Mrs. Felicisima Antioquia, her father's
employee, to verify the reports. The latter was driven by Lubos to the house in Singalong and between 5:00 and 6:00 o'clock that
afternoon, she saw defendant was carrying a baby in his arms. Mrs. Antioquia then went to the parish priest of Singalong where
she inquired about the child of Cesar Macaraig and Lily Ann Alcala and she was given a copy of the baptismal certificate of
Maria Vivien Mageline Macaraig which she gave to plaintiff sometime in October, 1963.
Plaintiff then entreated her father-in-law, Lucilo Macaraig, to intercede with defendant and to convince him to return to his
family. Mr. Macaraig, after talking to his son and seeking him with the latter's child told plaintiff that he could not do anything.
In November, 1963, plaintiff requested the cooperation of defendant's older sister, Mrs. Enriqueta Majul, and the latter obliged
and arranged a meeting at her home in Buendia between plaintiff and Lily Ann Alcala. Lily Ann said she was willing to give up
defendant as she had no desire to be accused criminally but it was defendant who refused to break relationship with her.
In the early part of December, 1963, plaintiff, accompanied by her two children, Victoria and Alexander, and by Mrs. Leticia
Lagronio went to talk to defendant at his place of work on Espaa Extension in front of Quezon Institute. They repaired to
Victoria Peak, a nearby restaurant, where plaintiff pleaded with defendant to give up Lily Ann Alcala and to return to the conjugal
home, assuring him that she was willing to forgive him. Defendant informed plaintiff that he could no longer leave Lily Ann and
refused to return to his legitimate family.
On December 14, 1963, plaintiff instituted the present action for legal separation. When defendant did not interpose any answer
after he was served summons, the case was referred to the Office of the City Fiscal of Manila pursuant to the provisions of Article
101 of the Civil Code. After a report was received from Asst. Fiscal Primitivo M. Pearanda that he believed that there was no
collusion present, plaintiff was allowed to present her evidence. Defendant has never appeared in this case.

TC: dismissed the complaint because of prescription. The action was filed more than 1 year from the date on which she had
become cognizant of the cause for legal separation. The court ruled that:
Under the facts established by plaintiff's evidence, although the infidelity of the husband is apparent, yet the case will have to be dismissed.
Article 102 provides that, an action for legal separation cannot be instituted except within one year after plaintiff "became cognizant of the
cause." In the absence of a clear-cut decision of the Supreme Court as to the exact import of the term "cognizant," the practical application of
said Article can be attended with difficulty.

Issue: Whether the period of one year provided for in Article 102 of the Civil Code should be counted, as far as the instant case is
concerned from September 1962 or from December 1963.
Ruling: (Direct Answer to Issue)
From December 1963
Ratio:
Upon the undisputed facts it seems clear that, in the month of September 1962, whatever knowledge appellant had acquired
regarding the infidelity of her husband, that is, of the fact that he was then living in Singalong with Lily Ann Alcala, was only
through the information given to her by Avelino Lubos, driver of the family car. Much as such hearsay information had pained
and anguished her, she apparently thought it best and no reasonable person may justifiably blame her for it not to go deeper
into the matter herself because in all probability even up to that time, notwithstanding her husband's obvious neglect of his entire
family, appellant still cherished the hope however forlorn of his coming back home to them. Indeed, when her husband
returned to the conjugal home the following October, she purposely refrained from bringing up the matter of his marital infidelity
"in her desire not to anger nor drive defendant away" quoting the very words of the trial court. True, appellant likewise heard
in April 1963 rumors that her husband was seen with a woman on the family way on Dasmarias Street, but failed again to either
bring up the matter with her husband or make attempts to verify the truth of said rumors, but this was due, as the lower court
itself believed, because "she was so happy that defendant again returned to the family home in May 1963 that she once more
desisted from discussing the matter with him because she did not wish to precipitate a quarrel and drive him away." As a matter
of fact, notwithstanding all these painful informations which would not have been legally sufficient to make a case for legal
separation appellant still made brave if desperate attempts to persuade her husband to come back home. In the words of the
lower court, she "entreated her father-in-law, Lucilo Macaraig, to intercede with defendant and to convince him to return to his
family" and also "requested the cooperation of defendant's older sister, Mrs. Enriqueta Majul" for the same purpose, but all that
was of no avail. Her husband remained obdurate.
After a careful review of the record, We are persuaded that, in the eyes of the law, the only time when appellant really became
cognizant of the infidelity of her husband was in the early part of December 1963 when, quoting from the appealed decision, the
following happened
In the early part of December, 1963, plaintiff, accompanied by her two children, Victoria and Alexander, and by
Mrs. Leticia Lagronio went to talk to defendant at his place of work on Espaa Extension in front of Quezon
Institute. They repaired to Victoria Peak, a nearby restaurant, where plaintiff pleaded with defendant to give up
Lily Ann Alcala and to return to the conjugal home, assuring him that she was willing to forgive him. Defendant
informed plaintiff that he could no longer leave Lily Ann and refused to return to his legitimate family.
From all the foregoing We conclude that it was only on the occasion mentioned in the preceding paragraph when her husband
admitted to her that he was living with and would no longer leave Lily Ann to return to his legitimate family that appellant must
be deemed to be under obligation to decide whether to sue or not to sue for legal separation, and it was only then that the legal
period of one year must be deemed to have commenced.
WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is set aside and another is hereby rendered holding that appellant is entitled to legal separation as prayed for in her
complaint; and the case is hereby remanded to the lower court for appropriate proceedings in accordance with law.

Relevant Dissent-Concurring Opinion/Notes: N/A

Case Title: CARMEN LAPUZ SY, represented by


her substitute MACARIO LAPUZ, petitionerappellant,
vs.
EUFEMIO S. EUFEMIO alias EUFEMIO SY UY,
respondent-appellee.

Date: January 31, 1972


G.R. No.: L-30977
Nature of Action: Petition for legal separation
Ponente: REYES J.B.L., J.
Topic: Legal Separation and Divorce When may
petition be filed

Facts:
Carmen O. Lapuz Sy filed a petition for legal separation against Eufemio S. Eufemio, alleging, in the
main, that they were married civilly on 21 September 1934 and canonically on 30 September 1934;
that they had lived together as husband and wife continuously until 1943 when her husband
abandoned her; that they had no child; that they acquired properties during their marriage; and that
she discovered her husband cohabiting with a Chinese woman named Go Hiok. She prayed for the
issuance of a decree of legal separation, which, among others, would order that the defendant Eufemio
S. Eufemio should be deprived of his share of the conjugal partnership profits.
In his answer, herein respondent Eufemio S. Eufemio alleged affirmative and special defenses, and,
along with several other claims involving money and other properties, counter-claimed for the
declaration of nullity ab initio of his marriage with Carmen O. Lapuz Sy, on the ground of his prior and
subsisting marriage, celebrated according to Chinese law and customs, with one Go Hiok.
Issues having been joined, trial proceeded and the parties adduced their respective evidence. But
before the trial could be completed (the respondent was already scheduled to present surrebuttal
evidence on 9 and 18 June 1969), petitioner Carmen O. Lapuz Sy died in a vehicular accident.
Respondent Eufemio moved to dismiss the "petition for legal separation", on two (2) grounds, namely:
that the petition for legal separation was filed beyond the one-year period provided for in Article 102 of
the Civil Code; and that the death of Carmen abated the action for legal separation. Counsel for
deceased petitioner moved to substitute the deceased Carmen by her father, Macario Lapuz. Counsel
for Eufemio opposed the motion.
The Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court of Manila dismissed the petition for legal separation. In the
body of the order, the court stated that the motion to dismiss and the motion for substitution had to be
resolved on the question of whether or not the plaintiff's cause of action has survived, which the court
resolved in the negative.
Petitioner, (through her self-assumed substitute for the lower court did not act on the motion for
substitution), filed a petition for certiorari of the decision of the trial court.
Issue:
(1) W/N an action for legal separation is converted by the counterclaim into one for a
declaration of nullity of a marriage, does the death of a party abate the proceedings?
(Petitioners issue)
(2) W/N the death of the plaintiff before final decree, in an action for legal separation,
abate the action? If it does, will abatement also apply if the action involves property
rights?
Ruling: (1) No. (2) Yes, and yes.
Ratio:
(1) Although the defendant below, the herein respondent Eufemio S. Eufemio, filed counterclaims,
he did not pursue them after the court below dismissed the case. He acquiesced in the dismissal
of said counterclaims by praying for the affirmance of the order that dismissed not only the
petition for legal separation but also his counterclaim to declare the Eufemio-Lapuz marriage to

be null and void ab initio. The issue as framed by petitioner injects into it a supposed conversion
of a legal separation suit to one for declaration of nullity of a marriage, which is without basis,
for even petitioner asserted that "the respondent has acquiesced to the dismissal of his
counterclaim"
The petition for legal separation and the counterclaim to declare the nullity of the self same
marriage can stand independent and separate adjudication. They are not inseparable nor was
the action for legal separation converted into one for a declaration of nullity by the
counterclaim, for legal separation pre-supposes a valid marriage, while the petition for nullity
has a voidable marriage as a pre-condition.
(2) An action for legal separation which involves nothing more than the bed-and-board separation of
the spouses (there being no absolute divorce in this jurisdiction) is purely personal. The Civil
Code of the Philippines recognizes this in its Article 100, by allowing only the innocent spouse
(and no one else) to claim legal separation; and in its Article 108, by providing that the spouses
can, by their reconciliation, stop or abate the proceedings and even rescind a decree of legal
separation already rendered. Being personal in character, it follows that the death of one party
to the action causes the death of the action itself actio personalis moritur cum persona.
The same rule is true of causes of action and suits for separation and maintenance. A review of
the resulting changes in property relations between spouses shows that they are solely the
effect of the decree of legal separation; hence, they can not survive the death of the plaintiff if it
occurs prior to the decree.
A further reason why an action for legal separation is abated by the death of the plaintiff, even if
property rights are involved, is that these rights are mere effects of decree of separation, their
source being the decree itself; without the decree such rights do not come into existence, so
that before the finality of a decree, these claims are merely rights in expectation. If death
supervenes during the pendency of the action, no decree can be forthcoming, death producing a
more radical and definitive separation; and the expected consequential rights and claims would
necessarily remain unborn.
ACCORDINGLY, the appealed judgment of the Manila Court of Juvenile and Domestic Relations is hereby
affirmed. No special pronouncement as to costs.
Relevant Dissent-Concurring Opinion/Notes:

Case Title:
SOCORRO MATUBIS, plaintiff-appellant,
vs.
ZOILO
PRAXEDES,
defendantappellee.

Date: October 25, 1960.


G.R. No.: G.R. No. L-11766
Nature of Action: Legal Separation and Change of
Surname
Ponente: PAREDES, J (1st Division)
Topic: Defenses; Consent.

Facts:
Alleging abandonment and concubinage, plaintiff Matubis, filed a complaint for Legal Separation
and Change of Surname against her husband defendant Praxedes. The allegations of the
complaint were denied by defendant spouse, who interposed the defense that it was plaintiff who
left the conjugal home.
DURING TRIAL:
1. Plaintiff and defendant were legally married on January 10, 1943.
2. For failure to agree on how they should live as husband and wife, the couple, on May 30, 1944,
agreed to live separately from each other, which status remained unchanged until the present.
3. On April 3, 1948, plaintiff and defendant entered into an agreement, the significant portions
of which are hereunder reproduced.
(a) That both of us relinquish our right over the other as legal husband and wife.
(b) That both of us is free to get any mate and live with as husband and wife
without any interference by any of us, nor either of us can prosecute the
other for adultery or concubinage or any other crime or suit arising from our
separation. Consent (license to commit concubinage)
(c) That I, the wife, is no longer entitled for any support from my husband or any benefits
he may receive thereafter, nor I the husband is not entitled for anything from my wife.
(d) That neither of us can claim anything from the other from the time we verbally
separated, that is from May 30, 1944 to the present when we made our verbal
separation into writing.
4. In January, 1955, defendant began cohabiting with one Asuncion Rebulado and on September
1, 1955, said Asuncion gave birth to a child who was recorded as the child of said defendant.
5. It was shown also that defendant and Asuncion deported themselves as husband and wife and
were generally reputed as such in the community.
AFTER THE TRIAL:
6. Without the defendant adducing any evidence, the court a quo rendered judgment holding that
the acts of defendant constituted concubinage, a ground for legal separation.
7. It, however, DISMISSED the complaint for two reasons, viz.:
(1) Prescription - Under Art. 102 of the new Civil Code, an action for legal separation
cannot be filed except within one year from and after the date on which the
plaintiff became cognizant of the cause and within five years from and after
the date when the cause occurred. The plaintiff became aware of the illegal
cohabitation of her husband with Asuncion Rebulado in January, 1955. The complaint
was filed on April 24, 1956. The present action was, therefore, filed out of time
and for that reason the action is barred.
(2) Consent - Article 100 of the new Civil Code provides that the legal separation may be
claimed only by the innocent spouse, provided there has been no condonation of or
consent to the adultery or concubinage. The plaintiff has consented to the
commission of concubinage by her husband. Stipulation (b) is an unbridled
license she gave her husband to commit concubinage. Having consented to

the concubinage, the plaintiff cannot claim legal separation.

8. Hence, this Petition for Review. Appellant claims that it was error for the lower court to have
considered that the period to bring the action has already elapsed and that there was consent
on the part of the plaintiff to the concubinage.
9. Counsel in his brief submits that the agreement is divided into two parts. The first part having
to do with the act of living separately which he claims to be legal, and the second part that
which becomes a license to commit the ground for legal separation, which is admittedly illegal.
Issues:
(1) WoN the action for Legal Separation has already elapsed.
(2) WoN there was consent on the part of the plaintiff to the concubinage. (TOPIC)
Ruling: YES. YES.
Ratio:
(1) LIMITATION OF ACTIONS; TIME WITHIN WHICH TO BRING ACTION.
While defendant's act of cohabiting with a woman other than his wife constituted concubinage,
a ground for legal separation, nevertheless, the complaint should be dismissed, because it was
not filed within one year from and after the date on which the plaintiff became cognizant of the
cause and within five years from and after the date when such cause occurred (Art. 102, new
Civil Code).
Article 102 of the new Civil Code provides: "An action for legal separation cannot be filed
except within one year from and after the date on which the plaintiff became cognizant of
the cause send within five years from and after the date when such cause occurred." The
complaint was filed outside the periods provided for by the above Article. By the very
admission of plaintiff, she came to know the ground (concubinage) for the legal separation
in January, 1955.
(2) CONDONATION OR CONSENT OF INNOCENT SPOUSE. (TOPIC)
The law specifically provides that legal separation may be claimed only by the innocent
spouse, provided the latter has not condoned or consented to the adultery or concubinage
committed by the other spouse (Art. 100, new Civil Code; and plaintiff (innocent spouse)
having condoned and/or consented in writing to the concubinage committed by the defendant
husband, she is now underserving of the court's sympathy (People vs. Schneckenburger, 73
Phil., 413).
The very wording of the agreement Exhibit B, gives no room for interpretation other than
that given by the trial judge. Condonation and consent on the part of plaintiff are
necessarily the import of paragraph 6 (b) of the agreement. The condonation and consent
here are not only implied but expressed. The law (Art. 100 Civil Code), specifically provides
that legal separation may be claimed only by the innocent spouse, provided there has been
no condonation of or consent to the adultery or concubinage.
Notes:

Case Title: BENJAMIN


BUGAYONG, plaintiff-appellant,
vs.
LEONILA GINEZ, defendant-appellee.

Date: December 28, 1956


G.R. No.: L-10033
Nature of Action: This is a case for legal
separation filed in the Court of First
Instance of Pangasinan wherein on motion
of the defendant, the case was dismissed.
The order of dismissal was appealed to
the Court of Appeals, but said Tribunal
certified the case to the Court on the
ground that there is absolutely no
question of fact involved, the motion
being predicated on the assumption as
true of the very facts testified to by
plaintiff-husband.
Ponente: FELIX, J.
Topic: Defenses - Condonation

FACTS:
1. Benjamin Bugayong, a serviceman in the United States Navy, was married to
defendant Leonila Ginez on August 27, 1949, at Asingan, Pangasinan, while on
furlough leave. Immediately after their marriage, the couple lived with their sisters
who later moved to Sampaloc, Manila. After some time, or about July, 1951, Leonila
Ginez left the dwelling of her sister-in-law and informed her husband by letter that
she had gone to reside with her mother in Asingan, Pangasinan, from which place
she later moved to Dagupan City to study in a local college there.
2. As early as July, 1951, Benjamin Bugayong began receiving letters from Valeriana
Polangco (plaintiff's sister-in-law) and some from anonymous writers(which were
not produced at the hearing) informing him of alleged acts of infidelity of his wife
which he did not even care to mention. On cross-examination, plaintiff admitted
that his wife also informed him by letter, which she claims to have destroyed, that
a certain "Eliong" kissed her. All these communications prompted him in October,
1951 to seek the advice of the Navy Chaplain as to the propriety of a legal
separation between him and his wife on account of the latter's alleged acts of
infidelity, and he was directed to consult instead the navy legal department.
3. In August, 1952, plaintiff went to Asingan, Pangasinan, and sought for his wife
whom he met in the house of one Mrs. Malalang, defendant's godmother. She came
along with him and both proceeded to the house of Pedro Bugayong, a cousin of
the plaintiff-husband, where they stayed and lived for 2 nights and 1 day as
husband and wife. Then they repaired to the plaintiff's house and again passed the
night therein as husband and wife. On the second day, Benjamin Bugayong tried to
verify from his wife the truth of the information he received that she had committed
adultery but Leonila, instead of answering his query, merely packed up and left,
which he took as a confirmation of the acts of infidelity imputed on her. After that
and despite such belief, plaintiff exerted efforts to locate her and failing to find her,
he went to Bacarra, Ilocos Norte, "to soothe his wounded feelings".
4. On November 18, 1952, Benjamin Bugayong filed in the Court of First Instance of
Pangasinan a complaint for legal separation against his wife, Leonila Ginez, who
timely filed an answer vehemently denying the averments of the complaint and
setting up affirmative defenses. After the issues were joined and convinced that a

reconciliation was not possible, the court set the case for hearing on June 9, 1953.
Plaintiff's counsel announced that he was to present 6 witnesses but after plaintiffhusband finished testifying in his favor, counsel for the defendant orally moved for
the dismissal of the complaint, but the Court ordered him to file a written motion to
that effect and gave plaintiff 10 days to answer the same.
5. The motion to dismiss was predicted on many grounds, including: That under the
same assumption, the act charged have been condoned by the plaintiff-husband.
Issues: Whether or not staying and living for 2 nights and 1 day as husband
and wife would constitute as a valid condonation in cases of legal
separation?

Ruling: YES.
Wherefore, and on the strength of the foregoing, the order appealed from is hereby
affirmed, with costs against appellant. It is so ordered.
Ratio: Condonation is the forgiveness of a marital offense constituting a ground for
legal separation or, as stated in I Bouver's Law Dictionary, p. 585, condonation is the
"conditional forgiveness or remission, by a husband or wife of a matrimonial
offense which the latter has committed". It is to be noted, however, that in defendant's
answer she vehemently and vigorously denies having committed any act of infidelity
against her husband, and even if We were to give full weight to the testimony of the
plaintiff, who was the only one that had the chance of testifying in Court and link such
evidence with the averments of the complaint, We would have to conclude that the
facts appearing on the record are far from sufficient to establish the charge of adultery,
or, as the complaint states, of "acts of rank infidelity amounting to adultery" preferred
against the defendant. Certainly, the letter that plaintiff claims to have received from
his sister-in-law Valeriana Polangco, which must have been too vague and indefinite as
to defendant's infidelity to deserve its production in evidence; nor the anonymous
letters which plaintiff also failed to present; nor the alleged letter that, according to
plaintiff, his wife addressed to him admitting that she had been kissed by one Eliong,
whose identity was not established and which admission defendant had no opportunity
to deny because the motion to dismiss was filed soon after plaintiff finished his
testimony in Court, do not amount to anything that can be relied upon.
But this is not a question at issue. In this appeal, We have to consider plaintiff's line of
conduct under the assumption that he really believed his wife guilty of adultery. What
did he do in such state of mind. In August, 1952, he went to Pangasinan and looked for
his wife and after finding her they lived together as husband and wife for 2 nights and
1 day, after which he says that he tried to verify from her the truth of the news he had
about her infidelity, but failed to attain his purpose because his wife, instead of
answering his query on the matter, preferred to desert him, probably enraged for being
subjected to such humiliation. And yet he tried to locate her, though in vain. Now, do
the husband's attitude of sleeping with his wife for 2 nights despite his alleged belief
that she was unfaithful to him, amount to a condonation of her previous and supposed
adulterous acts?
xxx
Although no acts of infidelity might have been committed by the wife, We agree with

the trial judge that the conduct of the plaintiff-husband above narrated despite his
belief that his wife was unfaithful, deprives him, as alleged the offended spouse, of any
action for legal separation against the offending wife, because his said conduct comes
within the restriction of Article 100 of the Civil Code.
The only general rule in American jurisprudence is that any cohabitation with the guilty
party, after the commission of the offense, and with the knowledge or belief on the
part of the injured party of its commission, will amount to conclusive evidence of
condonation; but this presumption may be rebutted by evidence (60 L. J. Prob. 73).
If there had been cohabitation, to what extent must it be to constitute condonation?
Single voluntary act of marital intercourse between the parties ordinarily is
sufficient to constitute condonation, and where the parties live in the same
house, it is presumed that they live on terms of matrimonial cohabitation (27 C.
J. S., section 6-d).
A divorce suit will not be granted for adultery where the parties continue to live
together after it was known (Land vs. Martin, 15 South 657; Day vs. Day, 80
Pac. 974) or there is sexual intercourse after knowledge of adultery
(Rogers vs. Rogers, 67 N. J. Eq. 534) or sleeping together for a single
night (Toulson vs. Toulson, 50 Atl. 401, citing Phinizy vs. Phinizy, 114 S. E. 185,
154 Ga. 199; Collins vs. Collins, 193 So. 702), and many others. The resumption
of marital cohabitation as a basis of condonation will generally be inferred,
nothing appearing to the contrary, from the fact of the living together as
husband and wife, especially as against the husband (Marsh vs. Marsh, 14 N. J.
Eq. 315).
There is no ruling on this matter in our jurisprudence but we have no reason to depart
from the doctrines laid down in the decisions of the various supreme courts of the
United States above quoted.
There is no merit in the contention of appellant that the lower court erred in
entertaining condonation as a ground for dismissal inasmuch as same was not raised in
the answer or in a motion to dismiss, because in the second ground of the motion to
dismiss. It is true that it was filed after the answer and after the hearing had been
commenced, yet that motion serves to supplement the averments of defendant's
answer and to adjust the issues to the testimony of plaintiff himself (section 4, Rule 17
of the Rules of Court).

Relevant Dissent-Concurring Opinion/Notes: N/A

Missing: Yangco v. Rohde


Case Title:
Diego De La Vina v. Antonio Villareal, as
Auxiliary Judge of First Instance, and Narcisa
Geopano

Date: 31 July 1920


G.R. No.: G.R. No. L-13982
Nature of Action: Petition for Certiorari
Ponente: Johnson, J.
Topic: Legal Separation - Effect of pungency of
the petition

Facts:
On 17 Sept. 1919, Narcisa Geopano filed a complaint in the CFI of Iloilo against Diego De La Vina
alleging:
(1) That she was a resident of the municipality of Iloilo, Province of Iloilo, and that De La Vina
was a resident of the municipality of Vallehermoso, Province of Oriental Negros;
(2) That she was the legitimate wife of De La Vina, having been married to him in the
municipality of Guijulgan, Province of Negros Oriental, in the year 1888;
(3) That since their said marriage, Geopano and De La Vina had lived as husband and wife and
had nine children, three of whom were living and were already of age;
(4) That during their marriage Geopano and De La Vina had acquired property, real and
personal, the value of which was about P300,000 and all of which was under the administration
of the defendant;
(5) That since the year 1913 and up to the date of the complaint, De La Vina had been
committing acts of adultery with one Ana Calog, sustaining illicit relations with her and having
her as his concubine, with public scandal and in disgrace of Geopano;
(6) That because of said illicit relations, De La Vina ejected Geopano from the conjugal home, for
which reason she was obliged to live in the city of Iloilo, where she had since established her
habitual residence; and
(7) That Geopano, scorned by her husband, De La Vina, had no means of support and was living
only at the expense of one of her daughters.
Upon said allegations she prayed for (a) a decree of divorce, (b) the partition of the conjugal property,
and (c) alimony pendente lite in the sum of P400 per month.
Subsequent to the filing of the complaint, Geopano, presented a motion, which was later amended,
alleging, among other things, that since the filing of her complaint she had personal knowledge that De
La Vina was trying to alienate or encumber the property which belonged to the conjugal partnership
between them, to the prejudice of her. Geopano prayed that a preliminary injunction be issued against
De La Vina restraining and prohibiting him in the premises.
De La Vina opposed the motion for a preliminary injunction, and, subsequently, demurred to the
complaint upon the ground that the court had no jurisdiction to take cognisance of the cause, no over
the person of the defendant.
After hearing the respective parties, the judge (Villareal) overruled De La Vinas demurrer and granted
Geopanos preliminary injunction.
On 27 April 1918, De La Vina filed a petition for certiorari to the SC, upon the ground that the judge
(Villareal) had no jurisdiction to take cognisance of the action and had exceeded his power and
authority in issuing the preliminary injunction.
Issue:
a) May a married woman ever acquire a residence or domicile separate from that of her husband

during the existence of the marriage?


b) In an action for divorce, brought by the wife against her husband, in which the partition of the
conjugal property is also prayed for, may the wife obtain a preliminary injunction against the
husband restraining and prohibiting him from alienating or encumbering any part of the conjugal
property during the pendency of the action?
Ruling:
a) Yes
b) Yes
Ratio:
a)
The SC had ruled that De La Vinas argument that the CFI of Iloilo had no jurisdiction to take cognisance
of the action for divorce because Geopano was a resident of the Province of Negros Oriental and that
she, as De La Vinas wife, must also be considered a resident of the same province inasmuch as, under
the law, the domicile of the husband is also the domicile of the wife, is not tenable.
It is true, as a general of law, that the domicile of the wife follows that of her husband. This rule is
founded upon the theoretic identity of person and of interest between the husband and the wife, and
the presumption that, from the nature of the relation, the home of the one is that of the other. It is
intended to promote, strengthen, and secure their interests in this relation, as it ordinarily exists, where
union and harmony prevail. But the authorities are unanimous in holding that this is not an absolute
rule.
Under modern laws it is clear that many exceptions to the rule that the domicile from of the wife is
determined by that of her husband must obtain. Accordingly, the wife may acquire another and
separate domicile from that of her husband where the theoretical unity of husband and wife is
dissolved, as it is by the institution of divorce proceedings; or where the husband has given cause for
divorce; or where there is a separation of the parties by agreement, or a permanent separation due to
desertion of the wife by the husband or attributable to cruel treatment on the part of the husband; or
where there has been a forfeiture by the wife of the benefit of the husband's domicile
The case of Geopano comes under one of the many exceptions above-mentioned, to wit: Where the
husband has given cause for divorce, the wife may acquire another and seperate domicile from that of
her husband. The SC had cited some illustrations:
Although the law fixes the domicile of the wife as being that of her husband, universal
jurisprudence recognizes an exception to the rule in the case where the husband's conduct has
been such as to furnish lawful ground for a divorce, which justifies her in leaving him, and,
therefore, necessarily authorities her to live elsewhere and to acquire a separate domicile.
Cheever vs. Wilson, 9 Wall. (U. S.), 108; Barber vs. Barber, 21 How. (U. S.), 582; 2 Bishop, Mar.
and Div., 475; Schouler, Hus. and Wife, sec. 574; 5 Am. and Eng. Encyc. of Law, p. 756." (Smith
vs. Smith, 43 La. Ann., 1140, 1146.)
The matrimonial domicile of the wife is usually that of the husband, but if she is justified in
leaving him because his conduct has been such as to entitle her to a divorce, and she
thereupon does leave him and go into another state for the purpose of there permanently
residing, she acquires a domicile in the latter state. (Atherton vs. Atherton, 155 N. Y., 129; 63
Am. St. Rep., 650.)
The law will recognize a wife as having a separate existence, and separate interests, and
separate rights, in those cases where the express object of all proceedings is to show that the

relation itself ought to be dissolved, or so modified as to establish separate interests, and


especially a separate domicile and home, bed and board being put, apart for the whole, as
expressive of the idea of home. Otherwise the parties, in this respect, would stand upon very
unequal ground, it being in the power of the husband to change his domicile at will, but not in
that of the wife. (Harteau vs. Harteau, 14 Pick. [Mass.], 181; 25 Am. Dec., 372, 375-376.)
Turning to the Spanish authorities, the SC had found that it agrees with the American authorities in
holding that the maxim or rule that the domicile of the wife follows that of the husband, is not an
absolute one.
It is clear, therefore, that a married woman may acquire a residence or domicile separate from that of
her husband, during the existence of the marriage, where the husband has given cause for divorce.

b)
With regards to the issue involving the judge issuing the preliminary injunction, Section 164 of Act No.
190 provides:
A preliminary injunction may be granted when it is established, in the manner hereinafter
provided, to the satisfaction of the judge granting it:
1. That the plaintiff is entitled to the relief demanded and such relief, or any part thereof,
consists in restraining the commission or continuance of the acts complained of either for a
limited period or perpetually;
2. That the commission or continuance of some act complained of during the litigation would
probably work injustice to the plaintiff;
3. That the defendant is doing, or threatens, on is about to do, or is procuring or suffering to be
done, some act probably in violation of the plaintiff's rights, respecting the subject of the action,
and tending to render the judgment ineffectual.
De La Vina argues that Geopano is not entitled to have a preliminary injunction issued against him
because contrary to the requirement of the first paragraph of said section, she was not entitled to the
relief demanded, which consisted in restraining the power and authority which the law confers upon the
husband; that under articles 1412 and 1413 of the Civil Code, the husband is the manager of the
conjugal partnership and, as such, is empowered to alienate and encumber and conjugal property
without the consent of the wife; that neither could the wife obtain a preliminary injunction under
paragraph 3 of said section, upon the ground that he was committing some acts in violation of her
rights, because Geopano, as the wife of De La Vina, had no right to intervene in the administration of
the conjugal property, and therefore no right of hers was violated.
The SC had found De La Vinas arguments to be untenable.
The law making the husband the sole administrator of the property of the conjugal partnership is
founded upon necessity and convenience as well as upon the presumption that, from the very nature of
the relating between husband and wife, the former will promote and not injure the interests of the
latter. So long as this harmonious relation, as contemplated by law, continues, the wife cannot and
should not interfere with the husband in his judicious administration of the conjugal property. But when

that relation ceases and, in a proper action, the wife seeks to dissolve the marriage and to partition the
conjugal property, it is just and proper, in order to protect the interests of the wife, that the husband's
power of administration be curtailed, during the pendency of the action, insofar as alienating or
encumbering the conjugal property is concerned.
In this case, Geopano alleged that De La Vina was about to alienate or encumber the property
belonging to the conjugal partnerships, with the object of injuring her interests, and this allegation does
not appear to have been controverted by De La Vina in the SC or in the lower court.
In view of this, the SC is of the opinion that under both paragraphs 2 and 3 of section 164 of Act No.
190, the judge (Villareal) was empowered and justified in granting the preliminary injunction prayed for
Geopano.
Hence, the SC ruled that in an action for divorce brought by the wife against the husband, in which the
partition of the conjugal property is also prayed for, the wife may obtain a preliminary injunction
against the husband, prohibiting the latter from alienating or encumbering any part of the conjugal
property during the pendency of the action.
Relevant Dissent-Concurring Opinion/Notes:

Case Title:
LUIS MA. ARANETA, Petitioner, vs.
HONORABLE HERMOGENES CONCEPCION,
as judge of the Court of First Instance of
Manila, Branch VI and EMMA BENITEZ
ARANETA, Respondents.

Date:
31 July 1956
G.R. No.: L-9667
Nature of Action:
Petition for Certiorari and Mandamus
Ponente:
Topic: Cooling Off Period

Facts:
Petitioner filed for legal separation against his wife alleging that she committed adultery.
His wife (respondent wife) causing her to file an omnibus petition for support and custody
of their three minor children. Also for the petitioner to return her passport and to enjoin
him from ordering his hirelings from harassing and molesting her.
Petitioner opposed the petition denying the misconduct accused of him and assailing that
his wife abandoned their children. On this behavior, petitioner contends that respondent
wife is not fit to care for their children nor receive any support. Also, that a petition for
custody and support cannot be determined without evidence. Only affidavits and
documents were submitted to the court by both parties.
Respondent judge resolved the omnibus petition grating custody and support to
respondent wife and refused the petitioners request for evidence on the basis of Article
103 of the Civil Code which reads:
Art. 103. An action for legal separation shall in ono case be tried
before six months shall have elapsed since the filing of the petition.
He stresses that the period of six-month period from filing the complaint was mandatory
and no case may be tried within the period. And that the court, within such period,
should take every step to reconcile the parties. In the interim, the children should be
given custody who, by family custom and tradition, is the custodian of the children. In
this case, the respondent wife.
In citing the above law, respondent judge opines that he cannot receive evidence until
after the cooling-off period has lapsed.
Petitioner filed the present petition to compel the judge to require the submission of
evidence before ruling on the omnibus petition.
Issue:
Whether or not the presentation of evidence as petitioned may be refused on the basis of
Article 103 of the Civil Code.
Ruling:
No. The period of six-months is intended as a cooling off period to make possible
reconciliation between spouses. However, it does not have the effect of overriding other
provisions of the law.
Ratio:
It is conceded that the period of six months fixed therein Article 103 (Civil Code) is
evidently intended as a cooling off period to make possible a reconciliation between the
spouses. The recital of their grievances against each other in court may only fan their
already inflamed passions against one another, and the lawmaker has imposed the
period to give them opportunity for dispassionate reflection. But this practical expedient,
necessary to carry out legislative policy, does not have the effect of overriding other
provisions such as the determination of the custody of the children and alimony and

support pendente lite according to the circumstances. The law expressly enjoins that
these should be determined by the court according to the circumstances. If these are
ignored or the courts close their eyes to actual facts, rank in justice may be caused.
The rule is that all provisions of the law even if apparently contradictory, should be
allowed to stand and given effect by reconciling them if necessary.

Thus the determination of the custody and alimony should be given effect and force
provided it does not go to the extent of violating the policy of the cooling off period. That
is, evidence not affecting the cause of the separation, like the actual custody of the
children, the means conducive to their welfare and convenience during the pendency of
the case, these should be allowed that the court may determine which is best for their
custody.

LUCY SOMOSA-RAMOS v. THE HONORABLE CIPRIANO VAMENTA, JR.,


Digested by: KR Gutierrez
Facts:
1. The question raised in this petition for certiorari is whether or not Article 103 of
the Civil Code prohibiting the hearing of an action for legal separation before the
lapse of six months from the filing of the petition, would likewise preclude the
court from acting on a motion for preliminary mandatory injunction applied for as
an ancillary remedy to such a suit.
2. Respondent Cipriano Vamenta, Jr., of the Court of First Instance of Negros Oriental
ordered the suspension, upon the plea of the other respondent the husband
Clemente G. Ramos, of the hearing on a motion for a writ of preliminary
mandatory injunction filed by petitioner at the same time the suit for legal
separation was instituted.
3. Petitioner, Lucy Somosa-Ramos, the wife who brought the action for legal
separation disputed such a ruling
4. The pleadings show that on June 18, 1971, petitioner filed a case in the sala of
respondent Judge against respondent Clemente Ramos for legal separation; on
concubinage on the respondent's part; and an attempt by him against her life
being alleged.
5. She likewise sought the issuance of a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction for
the return to her of what she claimed to be her paraphernal and exclusive
property, then under the administration and management of respondent
Clemente Ramos.
6. There was an opposition to the hearing of such a motion, dated July 3, 1971,
based on Article 103 of the Civil Code. It was further manifested by him in a
pleading dated July 16, 1971, that if the motion asking for preliminary mandatory
injunction were heard, the prospect of the reconciliation of the spouses would
become even more dim.
7. Respondent Judge ordered the parties to submit their respective memoranda on
the matter.
8. Judge granted motion of respondent to suspend the hearing of the petition for a
writ of mandatory preliminary injunction. That is the order complained of in this
petition for certiorari.
9. Respondents were required to answer according to our resolution of October 5,
1971. The answer was filed December 2 of that year. Then on January 12, 1972
came a manifestation from parties in the case submitting the matter without
further arguments.
Issue: Whether Article 103 of the NCC an absolute bar to the hearing of the motion for
preliminary injunction prior to the expiration of the six-month period?
Ruling:
NO. It is understandable why there should be a [cooling-off] period during which the court
is precluded from acting. Ordinarily of course, no such delay is permissible. Justice to
parties would not thereby be served. The sooner the dispute is resolved, the better for all
concerned. A suit for legal separation, however, is something else again. It involves a
relationship on which the law for the best reasons would attach the quality of
permanence. That there are times when domestic felicity is much less than it ought to be
is not of course to be denied. One or both of the spouses, whether fancied or real, may
entertain grievances. There may be constant bickering. The loss affection on the part of
one or both may be discernible. Nonetheless, it will not serve public interest, much less
the welfare of the husband or the wife, to allow them to go their respective ways. The
healing balm of time may aid in the process. Hopefully, the guilty parties may mend

his or her ways, and the offended party may in turn exhibit magnanimity.
Hence, the interposition of a six-month period before an action for legal
separation is to be tried.

The court where the action is pending according to Article 103 is to remain passive. It
must let the parties alone in the meanwhile. It is precluded from hearing the suit. There
is then some plausibility for the view of the lower court that an ancillary motion such as
one for preliminary mandatory injunction is not to be acted on. If it were otherwise, there
would be a failure to abide by the literal language of such codal provision. That the law,
however, remains cognizant of the need in certain cases for judicial power to assert itself
is discernible from what is set forth in the following article. It reads thus: "After the filing
of the petition for legal separation, the spouse shall be entitled to live separately from
each other and manage their respective property. The husband shall continue to manage
the conjugal partnership property but if the court deems it proper, it may appoint another
to manage said property, in which case the administrator shall have the same rights and
duties as a guardian and shall not be allowed to dispose of the income or of the capital
except in accordance with the orders of the court." There would appear to be then
recognition that the question of management of their respective property need not be
left unresolved even during such six-month period. An administrator may even be
appointed for the management of the property of the conjugal partnership. The absolute
limitation from which the court suffers under the preceding article is thereby eased. The
parties may in the meanwhile be heard. There is justification then for the petitioner's
insistence that the lower court should not ignore her motion for preliminary mandatory
injunction. There is all the more reason for this response from respondent Judge,
considering that the husband whom she accused of concubinage and an attempt against
her life would in the meanwhile continue in the management of what she claimed to be
her paraphernal property, an assertion that was not specifically denied by him. What was
held by this Court in Araneta v. Concepcion, thus possesses relevance: "It is conceded
that the period of six months fixed therein Article 103 (Civil Code) is evidently intended
as a cooling off period to make possible a reconciliation between the spouses. The recital
of their grievances against each other in court may only fan their already inflamed
passions against one another, and the lawmaker has imposed the period to give them
opportunity for dispassionate reflection. But this practical expedient, necessary to carry
out legislative policy, does not have the effect of overriding other provisions such as the
determination of the custody of the children and alimony and support pendente lite
according to the circumstance ... The law expressly enjoins that these should be
determined by the court according to the circumstances. If these are ignored or the
courts close their eyes to actual facts, rank injustice may be caused." At any rate, from
the time of the issuance of the order complained of on August 4, 1971, more than six
months certainly had elapsed. Thus there can be no more impediment for the lower court
acting on the motion of petitioner for the issuance of a writ of preliminary mandatory
injunction.

Separate Opinions
Reyes, J.B.L.,. J., concurring:

Concurs, specially in view of the ruling in De la Via vs. Villareal, 41 Phil. 13, 24.

Case Title:
G.R. No. L-33352 December 20, 1974
TEODORO E. LERMA, petitioner,
vs.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS
and CONCEPCION DIAZ, respondents.
MAKALINTAL, C.J.:p

Date:
G.R. No.:
Nature of Action: Action for Legal
Separation, Custody, Support and
Support Pendente Lite filed by the
Respondent
Nature of Action:
Topic: Legal Separation Cooling Off
Period

Facts:
Teodoro E. Lerma and Concepcion Diaz were married on May 19, 1951. On August
22,1969 the petitioner filed a complaint for adultery against the respondent and a certain
Teodoro Ramirez and on September 26, 1972 the court of First Instance of Rizal decided
the adultery case of the respondent and found her and her co-accused, Teodoro Ramirez,
guilty of the charge, sentencing them to a term of imprisonment.
During the pendency of the adultery case against the respondent, On November 18,
1969, respondent filed with the lower court a complaint against the petitioner for legal
separation and/or separation of properties, custody of their children and support, with an
urgent petition for support pendente lite for her and their youngest son, Gregory, who
was then and until now is in her custody. The respondent's complaint for legal separation
is based on two grounds: concubinage and attempt against her life.
The application for support pendente lite was granted in an order dated December
24,1969, which was amended in an order dated February 15, 1970.
The petitioner filed his opposition to the respondent's application for support pendente
lite, setting up as defense the adultery charge he had filed against the respondent on
March 12, 1970 the petitioner filed with respondent Court of Appeals a petition for
certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction to annul the aforementioned orders
on the ground that they were issued with grave abuse of discretion.
The next day the respondent court gave due course to the petition and issued a writ of
preliminary injunction to stop Judge Luciano from enforcing said orders. The respondent
court, in its decision of October 8, 1970, set aside the assailed orders and granted the
petitioner an opportunity to present evidence before the lower court in support of his
defense against the application for support pendente lite.
The respondent moved to reconsider the decision on the ground that the petitioner had
not asked that he be allowed to present evidence in the lower court. The respondent
court, in its resolution of January 20, 1971, set aside the decision of October 8 and
rendered another, dismissing the petition. This is now the subject of the instant
proceeding for review.

Issue: W/N
W/N the lower court acted with grave abused of discretion in granting the
respondentsapplication for support pendente lite without giving the petitioner

an opportunity to presentevidence in support of his defense against the said


application.
Ruling: (Direct Answer to Issue)

Ratio:
As correctly stated by the respondent court in its decision (which was later reconsidered
in its resolution under review), the procedural law on support pendente lite is Rule 61 of
the Revised Rules of Court, specifically Section 5 thereof, which partly provides:
The court shall determine provisionally the pertinent facts, and shall render
such order as equity and justice may require, having due regard to the
necessities of the applicant, the means of the adverse party, the probable
outcome of the case, and such other circumstances as may aid in the
proper elucidation of the questions involved. ...
The petitioner maintains that the above-quoted provision was disregarded by the lower
court when it issued the disputed orders without provisionally determining the pertinent
facts of the case, particularly insofar as they might have a bearing on its probable
outcome, merely relying on the bare allegations of the complaint. The petitioner also
claims he was deprived of the opportunity to present evidence in support of his defense
of adultery against the respondent's application for support pendente lite.
The question of whether or not the petitioner should be allowed to present evidence in
the lower court in support of that his wife had committed adultery has become academic.
The petitioner, in his motion filed February 28, 1974 for reconsideration of the denial by
this Court of his petition for preliminary injunction, manifested that on September 26,
1972 the court of First Instance of Rizal decided the adultery case of the respondent and
found her and her co-accused, Teodoro Ramirez, guilty of the charge, sentencing them to
a term of imprisonment. This has not been denied by the respondent. Neither is it denied
that on March 30, 1970, as a result of the adulterous relations with Teodoro Ramirez for
which she was later on convicted, the said respondent gave birth prematurely to a baby
boy, who however died the same day. The petitioner's motion of February 28 also states,
without denial on the part of the respondent, that after Teodoro Ramirez another man,
this time a Manila policeman by the name of Jose Gochangco, became her paramour, as a
consequence of which criminal charges of adultery have been filed against them before
the Fiscal of Manila. Photographs of the two, showing them in intimate pose, were
submitted to this Court. Their veracity has not been disputed.
The legal issue posed by the foregoing facts is whether adultery is a good defense against
the respondent's claim for support pendente lite. In Quintana v. Lerma, 24 Phil. 285,
which was an action by the wife against the husband for support, based upon a written
contract, this Court held that adultery is a good defense. This ruling was reiterated in the
subsequent cases of Sanchez v. Zulueta, 68 Phil. 110, and Mangoma v. Macadaeg, et al.,
90 Phil. 508. See also Olayvar v. Olayvar, 98 Phil. 52.
The respondent Court of Appeals, in upholding the questioned orders of the lower court,
relied on Article 292 of the Civil Code, which reads:
ART. 292. During the proceedings for legal separation, or for annulment of
marriage, the spouses and children shall be supported from the conjugal
partnership property. After the final judgment of legal separation, or of
annulment of marriage, the obligation of mutual support between the
spouses ceases. However, in case of legal separation, the court may order
that the guilty spouse shall give support to the innocent one, the judgment

specifying the terms of such order.


It is suggested that while adultery may be a defense in an action for personal support,
that is, support of the wife by the husband from his own funds, it is not a defense when
the support is to be taken from the conjugal partnership property.
We do not see that the distinction is material in this case. In the first place Article 292 is
not in itself the source of the legal right to receive support. It merely states that the
support, not only of the spouses but also of the children, shall be taken from the conjugal
property during the pendency of the legal separation proceeding. It does not preclude the
loss of such right in certain cases. In the second place, the said article contemplates the
pendency of a court action and, inferentially at least, a prima facie showing that the
action will prosper. For if the action is shown to be groundless the mere filing thereof will
not necessarily set Article 292 in operation. This is also the sense of Section 5 of Rule
61, supra, which requires, among other things, when support pendente lite is applied for,
that the court determine provisionally "the probable outcome of the case."
Article 100 of the Civil Code provides that "the legal separation may be claimed only by
the innocent spouse, provided there has been no condonation of or consent to the
adultery or concubinage ... (and) where both spouses are offenders, a legal separation
cannot be claimed by either of them ..."
In a provisional sense at least, within the meaning of Rule 61 (Section 5), the probable
failure of the respondent's suit for legal separation can be foreseen since she is not an
innocent spouse, having been convicted of adultery by the Court of First Instance. It is
true that the judgment of conviction is on appeal in the Court of Appeals, but the same
undoubtedly satisfies the standard of provisional showing set by the aforesaid Rule. If
legal separation cannot be claimed by the guilty spouse in the first place, the fact that an
action for that purpose is filed anyway should not be permitted to be used as a means to
obtain support pendente lite, which, without such action, would be denied on the strength
of the decisions of this Court recognizing adultery as a good defense. Otherwise, as
pointed out by the petitioner, all that an erring spouse has to do to circumvent such
defense would be to file a suit for legal separation no matter how groundless.
The right to separate support or maintenance, even from the conjugal partnership
property, presupposes the existence of a justifiable cause for the spouse claiming such
right to live separately. This is implicit in Article 104 of the Civil Code, which states that
after the filing of the petition for legal separation the spouses shall be entitled to live
separately from each other. A petition in bad faith, such as that filed by one who is
himself or herself guilty of an act which constitutes a ground for legal separation at the
instance of the other spouse, cannot be considered as within the intendment of the law
granting separate support. In fact under Article 303 of the same Code the obligation to
give support shall cease "when the recipient, be he a forced heir or not, has committed
some act which gives rise to disinheritance;" and under Article 921 one of the causes for
disinheriting a spouse is "when the spouse has given cause for legal separation." The loss
of the substantive right to support in such a situation is incompatible with any claim for
support pendente lite.
What has been said above, of course, is not meant to be a prejudgment of either the legal
separation proceeding pending in the lower court or the criminal case for adultery
pending in the Court of Appeals. It is to be understood only in the light of Rule 61, Section
5, of the Rules of Court, which specifically governs the subject of supportpendente lite.
WHEREFORE, the resolution of respondent Court of Appeals of January 20, 1971 and the
orders of respondent Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court herein complained of, dated

December 24, 1969 and February 15, 1970, all are set aside and their enforcement
enjoined, without prejudice to such judgment as may be rendered in the pending action
for legal separation between the parties. No pronouncement as to costs.

Relevant Dissent-Concurring Opinion/Notes:

Case Title:

Date: March 27, 1933

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS,


plaintiff-appellee,
vs.
URSULA SENSANO and MARCELO RAMOS,
defendants-appellants.

G.R. No. L-37720


Nature of Action: Criminal case - Adultery
Ponente: Butte, J. ; EN BANC
Topic: Defenses: Consent

Facts:
Ursula Sensano and Mariano Ventura were married on April 29, 1919. They had one child. Shortly
after the birth of his child, the husband left his wife to go to the Province of Cagayan where he
remained for three years without writing to his wife or sending her anything for the support of
herself and their son.
Poor and illiterate, without relatives upon whom she could call, she struggled for an existence for
herself and her son until a fatal day when she met the accused Marcelo Ramos who took her and
the child to live with him.
On the return of the husband in 1924, he filed a charge against his wife and Marcelo Ramos for
adultery and both were sentenced to 4 months and 1 day of arresto mayor.
The court, in its decision, stated the following: "In the opinion of the court, the husband of the
accused has been somewhat cruel in his treatment of his wife having abandoned her as he did."
After completing her sentence, the accused left her paramour. She thereupon appealed to this
municipal president and the justice of the peace to send for her husband so that she might ask his
pardon and beg him to take her back. At the house of the president she begged his pardon and
promised to be a faithful wife it he would take care her back. He refused to pardon her to live with
her and said she could go where she wished, that he would have nothing more to do with her, and
she could do as she pleased.
Abandoned for the second time, she and her child went back to her coaccused Marcelo Ramos (this
was in the year 1924) and they have lived with him ever since.
The husband, knowing that she resumed living with her codefendant in 1924, did nothing to
interfere with their relations or to assert his rights as husband.
Shortly thereafter he left for the Territory of Hawaii where he remained for seven years completely
abandoning his said wife and child.
On his return to these Islands, he presented the second charge of adultery here involved with the
sole purpose, as he declared, of being able to obtain a divorce under the provisions of Act No. 2710.
Issue: W/N the wife could be found guilty of adultery even if the husband gave his consent?
Ruling: (Direct Answer to Issue)
No.
Ratio:

Article 344 of the Revised Penal Code, paragraphs 1 and 2, are as follows:
Prosecution of the crimes of adultery, concubinage, seduction, abduction, rape and acts
of lasciviousness. The crimes of adultery and concubinage shall not be prosecuted
except upon a complaint filed by the offended spouse.
The offended party cannot institute criminal prosecution without including both the guilty
parties, if they are both alive, nor, in any case, if he shall have consented or pardoned
the offenders.

Apart from the fact that the husband in this case was assuming a mere pose when he signed the

complaint as the "offended" spouse, we have come to the conclusion that the evidence in this case
and his conduct warrant the inference that he consented to the adulterous relations existing
between the accused and therefore he is not authorized by law to institute this criminal proceeding.

We cannot accept the argument of the Attorney-General that the seven years of acquiescence on
his part in the adultery of his wife is explained by his absence from the Philippine Islands during
which period it was impossible for him to take any action against the accused. There is no merit in
the argument that it was impossible for the husband to take any action against the accused during
the said seven years.

The judgment below is reversed with costs de oficio.


Relevant Dissent-Concurring Opinion/Notes:

The appellants were sentenced by the CFI of Ilocos Norte for the crime of adultery to three years,
six months and twenty-one days of prision correccional and appealed to this court, assigning the
following error: "The court below erred in not holding that the offended husband contested to the
adultery committed by his wife Ursula Sensano in that he refused to live with her after she
extinguished her previous sentence for the same offense, and by telling her then that she could go
where she wanted to and do what she pleased, and by his silence for seven years notwithstanding
that he was informed of said adultery."

Missing: People v. Schneckenberger


Case Title: Bugayong v. Ginez

Date: December 28, 1956


G.R. No.: L- 10033
Nature of Action: Petition for Legal
Separation
Nature of Action:
Topic: Legal Separation when can it be filed

Facts:
Benjamin Bugayong, a serviceman in the US Navy was married with Leonila Ginez on August 1949 at
Pangasinan while on furlough leave. Immediately after the marriage, they lived with the sisters of
Bugayong in said municipality before he went back to duty. The couple came to an agreement that
Ginez would stay with his sisters who later moved in Manila. On or about July 1951, she left the
dwelling of the sisters-in-law and informed her husband by letter that she had gone to Pangasinan to
reside with her mother and later on moved to Dagupan to study in a local college.

Petitioner then began receiving letters from Valeriana Polangco, (plaintiffs sister-in-law) and some from
anonymous writers, which were not produced at the hearing, informing him of alleged acts of infidelity
of his wife. He admitted that his wife informed him by letter that a certain Eliong kissed her. All these
communications, prompted him in October 1951 to seek the advice of the Navy Chaplain who asked
him to consult with the navy legal department.

In August 1952, Bugayong went to Pangasinan and looked for his wife. They met in the house of the
defendants godmother. They proceeded to the house of Pedro, cousin of the plaintiff where they
stayed for 1 day and 1 night as husband and wife. The next day, they slept together in their own
house. He tried to verify with Leonila the truth on the information he received but instead of
answering, she merely packed up and left which he took as a confirmation of the acts of infidelity. He
then filed a complaint for legal separation
The wife filed a motion to dismiss arguing that there has been condonation by her husband. Trial Court
granted the motion.
Issue: Whether or not Bugayongs act of sleeping with his wife condoned the alleged act of infidelity by
the wife

Ruling: (Direct Answer to Issue)


Yes.
Ratio:
The Civil Code provides:
ART. 97. A petition for legal separation may be filed:
(1) For adultery on the part of the wife and for concubinage for the part of the husband as defined on
the Penal Code; or
(2) An attempt by one spouse against the life of the other.
ART. 100. The legal separation may be claimed only by the innocent spouse, provided there has been
no condonation of or consent to the adultery or concubinage. Where both spouses are offenders, a legal
separation cannot by either of them. Collusion between the parties to obtain legal separation shall
cause the dismissal of the petition.

Condonation is the forgiveness of a marital offense constituting a ground for legal separation or, as
stated in I Bouver's Law Dictionary, p. 585, condonation is the "conditional forgiveness or remission, by
a husband or wife of a matrimonial offense which the latter has committed".

Admitting for the sake of argument that the infidelities amounting to adultery were committed by the
defendant, a reconciliation was effected between her and the plaintiff. The act of the latter in
persuading her to come along with him, and the fact that she went with him and consented to be
brought to the house of his cousin Pedro Bugayong and together they slept there as husband and wife
for one day and one night, and the further fact that in the second night they again slept together in
their house likewise as husband and wife all these facts have no other meaning in the opinion of this
court than that a reconciliation between them was effected and that there was a condonation of the
wife by the husband. The reconciliation occurred almost ten months after he came to know of the acts
of infidelity amounting to adultery.
The only general rule in American jurisprudence is that any cohabitation with the guilty party, after the
commission of the offense, and with the knowledge or belief on the part of the injured party of its
commission, will amount to conclusive evidence of condonation; but this presumption may be rebutted
by evidence.
Single voluntary act of marital intercourse between the parties ordinarily is sufficient to constitute
condonation, and where the parties live in the same house, it is presumed that they live on terms of
matrimonial cohabitation (27 C. J. S., section 6-d).

Relevant Dissent-Concurring Opinion/Notes:

Case Title:

Date: November 10, 1941

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,


plaintiff-appellee, vs.

G.R. No.: L-48183

RODOLFO A. SCHNECKENBURGER, ET
AL., defendants-appellants.

Nature of Action: 2 crim cases for bigamy


and concubinage
Topic: Legal Sep; defense of consent

Ponente: Moran

Facts:
16 March 1926 Schneckenburger married Elena Cartagena
25 May 1935 - Schneckenburger and Elena executed a document, which states:
o Que ambos comparecientes convienen en vivir separados el uno del otro
por el resto de su vida y se comprometen, y obligan reciprocamente a no
molastarse ni intervenir ni mezclarse bajo ningun concepto en la vida
publica o privada de los mismos, entre si, quendado cada uno de los
otorgantes en completa libertad de accion en calquier acto y todos
concepto.
15 June 1935 Schneckenburger secured a divorce decree from a civil court in
Chihuahua, Mexico
11 May 1936 Schneckenburger married Julia Medel
thereafter, Elena instituted 2 actions:
o bigamy in CFI Rizal
o concubinage in CFI Manila
CFI Rizal convicted Schneckenburger and gave him a penalty of 2 months and a
day imprisonment
During trial of the concubinage case, Schneckenburger interposed the plea of
double jeopardy
o CFI Dismissed the concubinage case
On appeal to SC, SC held that the dismissal was premature, so case is remanded
to CFI (without deciding the issue of double jeopardy)
CFI convicted Schneckenburger with 2 months and a day imprisonment
Hence, SC
Issue: WON the execution of an illegal agreement amounted to a valid consent, which
bars the complainant from instituting a complaint for the crime of concubinage?
Ruling: (Direct Answer to Issue) YES; SC reversed CFI and ACQUITTED Schneckenburger
Ratio:

Upon the other hand, we believe and so hold that the accused should be
acquitted of the crime of concubinage. The document executed by and between
the accused and the complaint in which they agreed to be "en completa libertad
de accion en cualquier acto y en todos conceptos," while illegal for the purpose
for which it was executed, constitutes nevertheless a valid consent to the act of
concubinage within the meaning of section 344 of the Revised Penal Code. There
can be no doubt that by such agreement, each party clearly intended to forego to
illicit acts of the other.
We said before (People vs. Guinucod, 58 Phil., 621) that the consent which bars
the offended party from instituting a criminal prosecution in cases of adultery,
concubinage, seduction, abduction, rape and acts of lasciviousness is that which
has been given expressly or impliedly after the crime has been committed. We are
now convinced that this is a narrow view in way warranted by the language, as
well as the manifest policy, of the law. The second paragraph of article 344 of the
Revised Penal Code provides:
o The offended party cannot institute criminal prosecution without including
both the guilty parties, if they are both alive, nor, in any case, if he shall

have consented or pardoned the offenders.


NOT RELEVANT BUT MAY BE ASKED BY SIR:
o As to appellant's plea of double jeopardy, it need only be observed that the
office of bigamy for which he was convicted and that of concubinage for
which he stood trial in the court below are two distinct offenses in law and
in fact as well as in the mode of their prosecution. The celebration of the
second marriage, with the first still existing, characterizes the crime of
bigamy; on the other hand, in the present case, mere cohabitation by the
husband with a woman who is not his wife characterizes the crime of
concubinage. The first in an offense against civil status which may be
prosecuted at the instance of the state; the second, an offense against
chastity and may be prosecuted only at the instance of the offended party.
And no rule is more settled in law than that, on the matter of double
jeopardy, the test is not whether the defendant has already been tried for
the same act, but whether he has been put in jeopardy for the same
offense. (Diaz v. U. S., 223 U. S., 422; People v. Cabrera, 43 Phil., 82)

Google translate:
text of document executed by husband
and wife:
Que ambos comparecientes convienen en
vivir separados el uno del otro por el resto
de su vida y se comprometen, y obligan
reciprocamente a no molastarse ni
intervenir ni mezclarse bajo ningun
concepto en la vida publica o privada de
los mismos, entre si, quendado cada uno
de los otorgantes en completa libertad de
accion en calquier acto y todos concepto.

en completa libertad de accion en


cualquier acto y en todos conceptos,

Both appearing parties agree to live apart


from each other for the rest of his life and
commit, and mutually undertake not
molastarse or intervene or mixed under
any circumstances in public life or private
thereof, each, quendado each grantors in
complete freedom of action in performing
any act and all concept.
Both appearing parties agree to live apart
from each other for the rest of his life and
commit, and mutually undertake not
molastarse or intervene or mixed under
any circumstances in public life or private
thereof, each, quendado each grantors in
complete freedom of action in performing
any act and all concept.
complete freedom of action in any act and
in every respect
complete freedom of action in any act and
in every respect

Case Title:
WILLIAM H. BROWN, plaintiff-appellant,
vs.
JUANITA YAMBAO, defendant-appellee.

Date: October 18, 1957


G.R. No. L-10699
Nature of Action: action for legal
separation
Ponente: REYES, J.B.L., J.
Topic: Prescription

Facts:
William H. Brown filed suit in the CFI Manila to obtain legal separation from his lawful wife
Juanita Yambao. He alleged under oath that while interned by the Japanese invaders,
from 1942 to 1945, at the University of Sto. Tomas internment camp, his wife engaged in
adulterous relations with one Carlos Field of whom she begot a baby girl that Brown
learned of his wifes misconduct only in 1945, upon his release from internment; that
thereafter the spouse lived separately and later executed a document liquidating their
conjugal partnership and assigning certain properties to the erring wife as her share.
The complaint prayed for confirmation of the liquidation agreement; for custody of the
children issued of the marriage; that the defendant be declared disqualified to succeed
the plaintiff; and for their remedy as might be just and equitable.
The court subsequently declared the wife in default, for failure to answer in due time,
despite service of summons; and directed the City Fiscal or his representatives to
investigate, in accordance with Article 101 of the Civil Code, whether or not a collusion
exists between the parties. The Assistant City Fiscal found that after liberation, Brown
had lived maritally with another woman and had begotten children by her.
Thereafter, the court rendered judgment denying the legal separation asked, on the
ground that, while the wife's adultery was established, Brown had incurred in a
misconduct of similar nature that barred his right of action under Article 100 of the new
Civil Code. It was held that there had been consent and connivance. Brown's action had
prescribed under Article 102 and evidence showed that Brown learned of his wife's
infidelity in 1945 but only filed action in 1955.

Brown appealed the case to SC arguing that the Assistant Fiscal acted as counsel for the
defaulting wife, "when the power of the prosecuting officer is limited to finding out
whether or not there is collusion. He alleged that the court erred in permitting the
assistant fiscal to intervene for Juanita Yambao, the defendant-appellee, who is private
citizen and who is far from being the state.

Issue: W/N the action for legal separation filed by Brown is barred by prescription.
Ruling: (Direct Answer to Issue)
Yes. The appellant's action was already barred, because Brown did not petition for legal
separation proceedings until ten years after he learned of his wife's adultery, which was
upon his release from internment in 1945. Under Article 102 of the new Civil Code, action
for legal separation can not be filed except within one (1) year from and after the plaintiff
became cognizant of the cause and within five years from and after the date when such
cause occurred.

Ratio:
Collusion in matrimonial cases being "the act of married persons in procuring a divorce
by mutual consent, whether by preconcerted commission by one of a matrimonial
offense, or by failure, in pursuance of agreement to defend divorce proceedings", it was
legitimate for the Fiscal to bring to light any circumstances that could give rise to the
inference that the wife's default was calculated, or agreed upon, to enable appellant to
obtain the decree of legal separation that he sought without regard to the legal merits of
his case. One such circumstance is obviously the fact of Brown's cohabitation with a
woman other than his wife, since it bars him from claiming legal separation by express
provision of Article 100 of the new Civil Code. Wherefore, such evidence of such
misconduct, were proper subject of inquiry as they may justifiably be considered
circumstantial evidence of collusion between the spouses.
The policy of Article 101 of the new Civil Code, calling for the intervention of the state
attorneys in case of uncontested proceedings for legal separation (and of annulment of
marriages, under Article 88), is to emphasize that marriage is more than a mere contract;
that it is a social institution in which the state is vitally interested, so that its continuation
or interruption cannot be made depend upon the parties themselves.

Case Title:
Jose De Ocampo vs. Serafina Florenciano

Date: February 23, 1960


G.R. No. L-13553
Nature of Action: Complaint for legal
separation
Ponente: Bengzon, J.
Topic: Defenses; Collusion

Facts:
1. Plaintiff and defendant were married in April 5, 1938 by a religious ceremony in
Guimba, Nueva Ecija, and had lived thereafter as husband and wife.
2. They begot several children who are now living with plaintiff.
3. In March, 1951, plaintiff discovered on several occasions that his wife was
betraying his trust by maintaining illicit relations with one Jose Arcalas.
4. Having found the defendant carrying marital relations with another man plaintiff
sent her to Manila in June 1951 to study beauty culture, where she stayed for one
year.
5. Again, plaintiff discovered that while in the said city defendant was going out with
several other men, aside from Jose Arcalas. When defendant had finished studying
her course, she left plaintiff and since then they had lived separately.
6. Plaintiff surprised his wife in the act of having illicit relations with another man by
the name of Nelson Orzame. Plaintiff signified his intention of filing a petition for
legal separation, to which defendant manifested her conformity provided she is
not charged with adultery in a criminal action.
7. Accordingly, plaintiff filed a petition for legal separation.
8. The Court of Appeals held that the husband's right to legal separation on account
of the defendant's adultery with Jose Arcalas had prescribed, because his action
was not filed within one year from March 1951 when plaintiff discovered her
infidelity. We must agree with the Court of Appeals on this point.
9. As to the adultery with Nelson Orzame, the appellate court found that in the night
of June 18, 1955, the husband upon discovering the illicit connection, expressed
his wish to file a petition for legal separation and defendant readily agreed to such
filing. And when she was questioned by the Fiscal upon orders of the court, she
reiterated her conformity to the legal separation even as she admitted having had
sexual relations with Nelson Orzame. Interpreting these facts virtually to mean a
confession of judgment the Appellate Court declared that under Art. 101, legal
separation could not be decreed.
Issue: WON the admission made by the wife constitute collusion.
Ruling: NO.
Collusion in divorce or legal separation means 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.
This agreement, if not express, may be implied from the acts of the parties. It is a ground
for denying the divorce.
In this case, there would be collusion if the parties had arranged to make it appear that a
matrimonial offense had been committed although it was not, or if the parties had
connived to bring about a legal separation even in the absence of grounds therefor.
Here, the offense of adultery had really taking place, according to the evidence. The
defendant could not have falsely told the adulterous acts to the Fiscal, because her story
might send her to jail the moment her husband requests the Fiscal to prosecute. She

could not have practiced deception at such a personal risk.


In this connection, it has been held that collusion may not be inferred from the mere fact
that the guilty party confesses to the offense and thus enables the other party to procure
evidence necessary to prove it.
And proof that the defendant desires the divorce and makes no defense, is not by itself
collusion.

We do not think plaintiff's failure actively to search for defendant and take her home
(after the latter had left him in 1952) constituted condonation or consent to her
adulterous relations with Orzame. It will be remembered that she "left" him after having
sinned with Arcalas and after he had discovered her dates with other men. Consequently,
it was not his duty to search for her to bring her home. Hers was the obligation to return.
Two decisions are cited wherein from apparently similar circumstances, this Court
inferred the husband's consent to or condonation of his wife's misconduct. However,
upon careful examination, a vital difference will be found: in both instances, the husband
had abandoned his wife; here it was the wife who "left" her husband.
Wherefore, finding no obstacles to the aggrieved husband's petition we hereby reverse
the appealed decision and decree a legal separation between these spouse, all the
consequent effects. Costs of all instances against Serafina Florenciano. So ordered.

ROSARIO MATUTE, PETITIONER, VS.


HON. HIGINIO B. MACADAEG, AS JUDGE
OF THE COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF
MANILA, BRANCH X, AND ARMANDO
MEDEL,
RESPONDENTS.

May 30, 1956


G.R. No. L-9325
Nature of Action: certiorari and
prohibition with preliminary injunction
Ponente: CONCEPCION, J.:
Topic: Effect of Decree of Legal
Separation

Facts:
In an action for legal separation brought by Armando Medel against Rosario
Matute, upon the ground of adultery committed with his brother and her brotherin-law, Ernesto Medelwhich action was docketed as civil case No. 14190 of the
Court of First Instance of Manila decision was, on November 6, 1952 rendered
by the latter, finding Rosario guilty of the charge against her, decreeing said legal
separation, and awarding to Armando the custody of their four (4) minor children,
Florencia, Manuel, Carmelita and Benito, all surnamed Medel, then 12, 10, 8 and 4
years of age, respectively
Thereafter, Armando went to the United States, leaving the children in the City of
Davao under the care of his sister Pilar Medel, in whose house Rosario
subsequently lived in order to be with her offspring.
With his permission, Rosario brought the children to Manila in April, 1955, to
attend the funeral of her father. Armando alleges that he consented thereto on
condition that she would return the children to him within two (2) weeks.
However, Rosario did not do so. Instead, on June 10, 1955, she filed, in said civil
case No. 14190, a motion the prayer of which is of the following tenor:
o "Wherefore, movant respectfully prays this Honorable Court, after due
hearing:
"(1) to issue an order awarding the custody of the above-named
children to the herein movant, their mother, in deference to the
preference expressed by the children (Sec. 6, Rule 100, Rules of
Court); and
"(2) to order Armando Medel, father of the said minor children, to
support said children by paying their school fees and giving them a
reasonable allowance both items in an amount not less than P200 a
month."
Said motion was based upon the ground that the childrenthree (3) of whom,
namely, Florencia, Manuel and Carmelita, were then 16, 14 and 12 years of age,
respectivelydo not want to go back to their father, because he "is living with a
woman other than" their mother.
After due hearing the Court of First Instance of Manila, presided over by Hon.
Higinio B. Macadaeg, Judge, issued an order:
o "In view of the foregoing, motion for the custody of the minor children,
Florencia, Manuel, Carmelita, and Benito, all surnamed Medel, is hereby
denied. Rosario Matute is hereby ordered to deliver to Armando Medel the
persons of the said minor children, within twenty-four (24) hours from
receipt of copy of this Order. "
Rosario instituted, against Armando and Judge Maeadaeg, the present action for
certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction, upon the ground that said
order of June 29, 1955, had been issued with grave abuse of discretion, and that
there is no other plain, adequate and speedy remedy in the ordinary course of
law.
Issue: WON custody of their children should be with Rosario Matute despite

the previous legal separation decree awarding custody to Armando.


Ruling: No custody remains with Armando
Ratio:
Respondent had, admittedly, the custody of said minors. Petitioner merely
obtained his permission to bring them to Manila, for the purpose of attending the
funeral of their maternal grandfather, which took place in April, 1955. Thus,
petitioner obtained and has the physical possession of the minors in a precarious
manner. She holds it in the name, on behalf and by authority of respondent Medel,
whose agent she, in effect, is. He may, therefore, demand their return at any
time, and she is bound to comply immediately with such demand. She cannot
even question his authority to make it, although she is free to seek a review of the
order or decision awarding the custody of the minors to him, and to ask that they
be placed under her charge.
Again, it is conceded that children over ten (10) years of age, whose parents are
divorced or living separately, may choose which parent they prefer to live with,
unless the parent chosen is unfit to take charge of their care by reason of "moral
depravity, habitual drunkenness, in capacity or poverty" (Rule 100, section 6,
Rules of Court). Without deciding whether the adultery committed by herein
petitioner with her own brother-in-law involves moral depravity, it is clear to our
mind that the affirmative assumption implicit in the order complained of cannot
be characterized as an "abuse of discretion", much less a "grave" one.
The facts remains that defendant-movant is without means of livelihood and,
according to her own admission, she lives on the charily of her brothers. She has
no home of her own to offer to her children, but only she would shelter them
under the roof of her brothers."
And the substantial accuracy of this statement is not contested. We are not
prepared to hold, that a grave abuse of discretion was committed when the lower
court impliedly deduced, from these circumstances, that "poverty", among other
causes, rendered petitioner unfit to take charge of her children or made it unwise
to place them under her care.