G.R. No. L-13553, 23 February 1960
Jose de Ocampo and Serafina Florenciano were married in 1938. They begot several children who are not living with plaintiff. In March 1951, latter discovered on several occasions that his wife was betraying his trust by maintaining illicit relations with Jose Arcalas. Having found out, he sent the wife to Manila in June 1951 to study beauty culture where she stayed for one year. Again plaintiff discovered that the wife was going out with several other men other than Arcalas. In 1952, when the wife finished her studies, she left plaintiff and since then they had lived separately. In June 1955, plaintiff surprised his wife in the act of having illicit relations with Nelson Orzame. He signified his intention of filing a petition for legal separation to which defendant manifested conformity provided she is not charged with adultery in a criminal action. Accordingly, Ocampo filed a petition for legal separation in 1955.
Whether the confession made by Florenciano constitutes the confession of judgment disallowed by the Family Code.
Florenciano’s admission to the investigating fiscal that she committed adultery, in the existence of evidence of adultery other than such confession, is not the confession of judgment disallowed by Article 48 of the Family Code. What is prohibited is a confession of judgment, a confession done in court or through a pleading. Where there is evidence of the adultery independent of the defendant’s statement agreeing to the legal separation, the decree of separation should be granted since it would not be based on the confession but upon the evidence presented by the plaintiff. What the law prohibits is a judgment based exclusively on defendant’s confession. The petition should be granted based on the second adultery, which has not yet prescribed.
* Case digest by Jason S. Olasiman, LLB-1, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2017-2018