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respondent by administering the Draw-A-Person Test, House Tree Test and Sach's Sentence Completion Test and prepared her Report (Exhibit 'A'), test revealed that respondent is psychogically incapacitated of complying [with] his essential marital obligations as manifested by the following indicators:

a) Irresponsible husband where he is financially dependent on this petitioner[']s earning for their family expenditures;

b) A contract gambler;

c) An alcoholic;

d) A womanizer; and

e) Posses[s] a grossly abusive conduct and behavior toward petitioner which unnecessarily exposed the latter to contempt, redicule [sic] and public humiliation.

And as a result of this examination[,] she made this evaluation. That both petitioner and respondent must try to accept reality that they had led a regretful life with their marital relationship and must try to change their negative habits and work towards personality growth land [sic] further selfimprovement. Since both of them realized they cannot grow together in the past and this time they have to grow apart as separate individuals. Both petitioner and respondent got the right to choose another way of life in their future where now they will find their happiness through their independent

ways.

From the evidence by petitioner, it is apparently established that respondent is psychologically incapacitated of complying with his essential marital obligations, which obligations were defined and laid down in the case of Republic vs. CA ET. AL., G.R. No. 108763, Feb. 13, 1997, as those embraced in Articles 68, 69, 70 and 71 of the Family Code regards [sic] husband and wife as well as Articles 220, 221, and 225 as regards parents and children. * * *"8 (emphasis Ours)

On July 2, 1999, the OSG filed its Opposition9 contending that "the allegations in the petition do not suffice to annul the present marriage between petitioner Ma. Luisa Y Abon and respondent Arturo C. Abon."10

On July 5, 1999, the OSG, through registered mail, filed its Notice of Appeal.11

• Records, pages 23-24.

9 lbid., pages 28-31. 10 Ibid., page 28.

11 Ibid., pages 32-34-A..

Issues

In its Brief, 12 oppositor OSG alleged that:

"THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN GRANTING THE PETITION DESPITE ABSENCE OF A VALID GROUND FOR DECLARATION OF NULLITY OF MARRIAGE,"13

Such is the issue which We shall resolve in this appeal.

Our Ruling

In challenging the RTC's declaration of nullity of marriage between petitioner Luisa and respondent Arturo, oppositor OSG avers that psychological incapacity, as defined by law and jurisprudence, was not proven here. It contends that the guidelines in the application and interpretation of Article 36 of the Family Code, as laid down by the Supreme Court in Republic vs. Court of Appeals and Molina, 268 SCRA 198, were not complied with in the present case.14 The psychological report prepared by witness/ psychologist Regine Marmee Cosico does not justify a declaration of nullity of marriage.15 The OSG thus prays for the reversal of that the June 23, 1999 Decision of the RTC.

We agree.

Article 36 of the Family Code of the Philippines provides:

"ART. 36. A marriage contracted by any party who, at the time of the celebration, was psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations of marriage, shall likewise be void even if such incapacity becomes manifest only after its solemnization." (emphasis Ours)

It bears stressing that the "psychological incapacity" contemplated in this article was not meant to comprehend all such possible cases of psychoses.16 Rather, it is limited in scope to a mental (not physical) incapacity that cause a party to be truly

12 Rollo, pages 15-30. 13 Ibid., page 17.

14 Rollo, page 22-25.

15 Ibid., page 22.

16 Santos vs. Court of Appeals, 240 SCRA 20, 34 (1995).

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incognitive of the basic marital covenants that concomitantly must be assumed and discharged by the parties to the marriage.17

Verily, if a petition for nullity based on psychological incapacity is to be given due course, its gravity, root cause, incurability and the fact that it existed prior to or at the time of celebration of the marriage must always be proved. 18 The incapacity must be grave or serious such that the party would be incapable of carrying out the ordinary duties required in marriage; it must be rooted in the history of the party antedating the marriage, although the overt manifestations may emerge only after the marriage; and it must be incurable or if otherwise, the cure must be beyond the means of the party involved.19

As correctly argued by the OSG, the guidelines in the interpretation and application of Article 36 of the Family Code, as laid down by the Supreme Court in Republic vs. Court of Appeals,20 must be strictly complied with. Consequently, the grant of a petition for nullity of marriage based on psychological incapacity should have been confined only to the most serious cases of personality disorders that clearly demonstrate an utter insensitivity or inability to give meaning and significance to the marriage.21

Here, petitioner Luisa merely alleged during her direct examination that respondent Arturo: (1) is an indifferent and

17 Note 16, supra.

irresponsible husband who is not prepared for marital duties and obligations;22 (2) still felt like a bachelor enjoying nightlife pleasure in the company of his "barkadas," indulging in drinking session;23 (3) was a chronic gambler;24 (4) no longer expressed love, care and affection to her and their children;25 (5) did not even look for a job to support his family;26 (6) had a mistress.27

Evidently, they do not constitute "psychological incapacity" as contemplated in Article 36, which is more than just a "difficulty," a "refusal" or a "neglect" in the performance of some marital obligations.28 It is not enough that respondent Arturo had difficulty or was unwilling to perform his marital obligations. Proof of a natal or supervening disabling factor, an adverse integral element in respondent's personality structure that effectively incapacitated him from complying with his essential marital obligations, should have been shown.29 This, petitioner Luisa failed to do.

18 Bier vs. Bier, G.R. No. 173294, February 27, 2008, citing Navarro, Jr. v. Cecelio-Navarro, G.R. No. 162049, 13 April 2007, 521 SCRA 121, 127128; Republic v. Tanyag-San Jose, G.R. No. 168328, 28 February 2007, 517 SCRA 123, 133; Republic v. lyoy, G.R. No. 152577, 21 September 2005, 470 SCRA 508, 526; Carating-Siayngco v. Siayngco, G.R No. 158896, 27 October 2004, 441 SCRA 422, 433 and 438; Dedel v. CA, 466 Phil. 226, 232-233 (2004); Choa v. Choa, G.R. No. 143376, 26 November 2002, 392 SCRA 641, 650651; Hernandez v. CA, 377 Phil 919 (1999); Republic v. CA and Manila, supra note 4; and Santos v. CA, 310 Phil. 22, 39 (1995).

19 Ibid., citing Santos vs. Court of Appeals, supra. 20 268 SCRA 198, 209-213 (1997).

21 Rumbaua vs. Rumbaua, G.R. No. 166738, August 14, 2009.

Witness Regine Marmee Cosico's psychological report - which was regarded by the trial court as "the most vital basis" in denying or granting the petition hardly proved petitioner's cause. While the RTC categorically stated in its assailed ruling that Cosico "conducted psychological test on the petitioner and respondent," records show, however, that it was only petitioner Luisa who was actually examined by Cosico. During her direct examination, Cosico testified, viz.:

"Q Are you the same psychologist who has examined the petitioner Maria Luisa Abon in this case of Annulment of Marriage filed against respondent Arturo Abon?

A Yes, sir.

22 TSN, Direct Examination of Ma. Luisa Abon, June 14, 1999, page 5. 23 lbid., page 6.

13.

24 lbid.

25 lbid.

26 lbid.

27 lbid.

28 Alcazar vs. Alcazar, G.R. No. 174451, October 2009.

29 Bier vs. Bier, supra. citing Navarro Jr., v. Cecilio-Navarro, G.R. No. 162049, 13 April 2007, 521 SCRA 121, 127-128.

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Q How did you conduct your examination? A Through paper and pencil test. I also interviewed her and gave her a psychological examination, sir.

Q What kind of psychological examination did you conduct on her?

AI gave her the following: Draw-A-Person Test; Sach[']s Sentence Completion Test; House-TreePerson Test; and Enneagram Quick Test, sir.

Collusion implies a secret understanding whereby one party plays into another's hands for fraudulent purposes.34 And pertinently, Article 48 of the Family Code of the Philippines provides that in all cases of annulment or declaration of absolute nullity of marriage, the Court shall order the prosecuting attorney or fiscal assigned to it to appear on behalf of the State to take steps to prevent collusion between the

Q Out of the examinations you conducted on the parties and to take care that evidence is petitioner, what were you findings?

A found that the respondent is psychologically

incapacitated to perform his duties and obligation as [a] father and head of the family and cannot perform his marital duties and obligations. "30 (emphasis Ours)

It thus appears that Cosico was not able to personally examine respondent Arturo because the latter did not appear for Cosico's psychological examination. Cosico merely relied on the information provided by petitioner Luisa who, obviously, was biased in her opinions and descriptions. The observations pertaining to the psychological state of respondent Arturo, as proffered by Cosico, can hardly be

considered as sufficient to warrant a conclusion on respondent's psychological incapacity.

To be sure, Cosico's testimony was actually hearsay evidence as she had no personal knowledge of the alleged facts she testified on.31 For this reason, her testimony should have been dismissed for being the rule that while there is no requirement that a party, to be declared psychologically incapacitated must be personally examined by a physician or a psychologist (as a condition sine qua non), there nevertheless is a need to prove the psychological incapacity through inde- pendent evidence adduced by the person alleging said disorder.33 Such does not exist here.

unscientific and unreliable. For, settled is

Worse, as observed by this Court, it appears that the parties have colluded in having their marriage annulled.

30 TSN, Direct Examination of Ma. Luisa Abon, June 14, 1999, pages 3-4.

31 Bier vs. Bier, supra.

32 lbid., citing Republic vs. Tanyag San Jose, G.R. No. 168328, 28 February 2007, 517 SCRA 123, 133.

33 lbid.

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not fabricated or suppressed.35 The reason for this is not only to ensure that the interest of the State is represented and protected in proceedings for annulment and declaration of nullity of marriages, it more importantly is necessary that the collusion of parties, or the fabrication or suppression of evidence,36 be prevented.

In this case, We find it strange that despite proper service of summons37 on respondent Arturo, he not only failed to attend the scheduled hearing on June 14, 1998, he worsely failed to file any responsive pleading in this case. Even on appeal, it was only petitioner Luisa who filed her Appellee's Brief.38 Arturo did not file any.

But going back to the proceedings below, it appears that the trial court was too hasty in deciding the present case. Records show that when the respondent failed to appear at the scheduled hearing, the court allowed the petitioner to present evidence ex-parte, allowed her witnesses' testimony to be terminated and declared the case as one that was deemed submitted for decision within a span of only one (1) day, i.e., on June 14, 1998. The court did not even give respondent Arturo his day in court to refute petitioner's evidence.

Worst, the RTC only relied on the selfserving testimony of petitioner Luisa. The court below clearly ignored the ruling in Ancheta vs. Ancheta,39 viz.:

34 Desierto vs. Ocampo, 452 SCRA 789, 810 (2005).

35 Article 48, Family Code.

36 Republic vs. lyoy, 470 SCRA 508, 529 (2005). 37 Records, page 7.

38 Rollo, pages 35-36.
39 424 SCRA 725 (2004).

"The task of protecting marriage as an inviolable social institution requires vigilant and zealous participation and not mere pro-forma compliance. The protection of marriage as a sacred institution requires not just the defense of a true and genuine union but the exposure of an invalid one as well.

A grant of annulment of marriage or legal separation by default is fraught with the danger of collusion. Hence, in all cases for annulment,

declaration of nullity of marriage and legal separation, the prosecuting attorney or fiscal is ordered to appear on behalf of the State for the purpose of preventing any collusion between the parties and to take care that their evidence is not fabricated or suppressed. If the defendantspouse fails to answer the compliant, the court cannot declare him or her in default but instead, should order the prosecuting attorney to determine if collusion exists between the parties. prosecuting attorney or fiscal may oppose the application for legal separation or annulment through the presentation of his own evidence, if in his opinion, the proof adduced is dubious and fabricated.

The

Our constitution is committed to the policy of strengthening the family as a basic social institution. Our family law is based on the policy that marriage is not a mere contract, but a social institution in which the State is vitally interested. The State can find no stronger anchor than on good, solid and happy families. The break-up of families weakens our social and moral fabric; hence, their preservation is not the concern of family members alone. Whether or not a marriage should continue to exist or a family should stay together must not depend on the whims and caprices of only one party, who

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MGA ALITUNTUNIN KAGAWARAN, KAWANIHAN AT TANGGAPAN AT MGA KAUTUSANG PAMPANGASIWAAN [DEPARTMENT, BUREAU AND OFFICE ADMINISTRATIVE ORDERS AND REGULATIONS]

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas

BANGKO SENTRAL NG PILIPINAS Mabini St., Malate 1004 Manila, Philippines. (623) 7087701.www.bsp.gov. ph. bspmail@bsp.gov.ph

OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY GOVERNOR

Το

SUPERVISION AND EXAMINATION SECTOR

MEMORANDUM No. M-2011-058

: ALL BANKS LISTED IN THE PHILIPPINES STOCK EXCHANGE

SUBJECT DISCLOSURE OF ULTIMATE BENEFICIAL OWNERS OF BANK SHARES HELD IN THE NAME OF PCD NOMINEE CORPORATION (PCDNC)

All banks listed in the Philippines Stock Exchange are hereby reminded to disclose in the Consolidated List of Stockholders and their Stockholdings (BSP 7-16-11) the ultimate beneficial owners of shares held under PCDNC including those of numbered, trust, and custodial accounts as required under Section X126 of the Manual of Regulation for Banks as amended by Circular No. 718 sated 26 April 2011.

Failure to strictly comply with this requirement shall subject the bank to the corresponding sanctions provided in the regulation.

For guidance and implementation.

(Sgd.) NESTOR A. ESPENILLA, JR.
Deputy Governor

18 November 2011

Pursuant to Circular No. 736 dated 20 July 2011 and Memorandum No. M-2011052 dated 16 September 2011 on the Amendments to Prudential Reports Relative to the Implementation of the Mandatory Agrarian Reform and Agricultural Credit under R.A. No. 10000, the following guidelines on the electronic submission of the new Argi report and the updated FRP report shall be observed:

Agri-Agra Submission Guidelines

1. The new Agri-Agra report shall take effect starting the reporting period ending 31 December 2011 pursuant to Section 3 of Memorandum No. M-2011052.

2. The prescribed data entry template of the new Agri-Agra report can be accessed at http://www.bsp.gov.ph/frp/ templates.

3. Bank shall electronically submit the prescribed data entry template of the new Agri-Agra report within 15 banking days from reference quarter. The Control corresponding scanned Prooflist (cp) of the new Agri-Agra report (Annex A) in a compressed/ zipped file, duly notarized and signed by the authorized official with the new Agri-Agra report within the said deadline using following prescribed filenames:

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