Azcueta v. Republic

G.R. No. 180668, 26 May 2009

FACTS:

Petitioner Marietta Azcueta and Rodolfo Azcueta got married on July 24, 1993. They separated in 1997 after four years of marriage and bore no child.

Petitioner filed with the RTC a petition for declaration of absolute nullity of marriage under Article 36 of the Family Code, claiming that her husband Rodolfo was psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential obligations of marriage.

According to petitioner, Rodolfo was emotionally immature, irresponsible and continually failed to adapt himself to married life and perform the essential responsibilities and duties of husband

Petitioner also complained of physical violence.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the totality of the evidence presented is adequate to sustain a finding that Rodolfo is psychologically incapacitated to comply with his essential marital obligations.

RULING:

Yes. After a thorough review of the records of the case, we find that there was sufficient compliance with the guidelines in the Molina case to warrant the annulment of the parties’ marriage under Article 36.

The Court laid down in Republic of the Philippines v. Court of Appeals and Molina stringent guidelines in the interpretation and application of Article 36 of the Family Code, to wit:

(1) The burden of proof to show the nullity of the marriage belongs to the plaintiff;

(2) The root cause of the psychological incapacity must be: (a) medically or clinically identified, (b) alleged in the complaint, (c) sufficiently proven by experts and (d) clearly explained in the decision;

(3) The incapacity must be proven to be existing at “the time of the celebration” of the marriage;

(4) Such incapacity must also be shown to be medically or clinically permanent or incurable;

(5) Such illness must be grave enough to bring about the disability of the party to assume the essential obligations of marriage;

(6) The essential marital obligations must be those embraced by Articles 68 up to 71 of the Family Code as regards the husband and wife as well as Articles 220, 221 and 225 of the same Code in regard to parents and their children;

(7) Interpretations given by the National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal of the Catholic Church in the Philippines, while not controlling or decisive, should be given great respect by our courts.

In all, the Court agrees with the trial court that the declaration of nullity of the parties’ marriage pursuant to Article 36 of the Family Code is proper under the premises.

* Case digest by Immanuel Y. Granada , LLB-1, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2017-2018

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