AM No. 1022-MJ, 7 May 1976
Redentor Albano filed a complaint against Judge Gapusan seeking disciplinary action involving latter’s malpractice in his notarization of a separation agreement between Valentina Andres and Guillermo Maligta and the extrajudicial liquidation of their conjugal partnership. In the abovementioned separation agreement, it was stipulated that the spouse guilty of adultery or concubinage shall be barred to file an action against the other. Respondent judge denied that he drafted the said agreement and explained that the spouses had been separated for a long time when they signed it and the wife had begotten children with her paramour. He further added that there was a stipulation in the said agreement that the spouse would live together in case of reconciliation.
WON Judge Gapusan should be reprimanded because of notarizing the void agreement between the spouses.
Yes. A notary should not facilitate the disintegration of a marriage and the family by encouraging the separation of the spouses and extrajudicially dissolving the conjugal partnership.
The family is a basic social institution which public policy cherishes and protects. To preserve the institution of marriage, the law considers void any contract for personal separation between husband and wife and every extra-judicial agreement for the dissolution of the partnership.
There is no question that the stipulation contained in the said separation agreement is contrary to law, morals and good customs. SC held the action of respondent judge Gapusan as contrary to law and as a member of the bar, censured him for having notarized the above-mentioned void agreement.
* Case digest by Ariel M. Acopiado, LLB-1, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2017-2018