Republic v. Quintero-Hamano

G.R. No. 149498, 20 May 2004

FACTS:

Toshio Hamano, a Japanese national, left respondent Lolita Hamano and their daughter a month after the celebration of the marriage, and returned to Japan with the promise to support his family and take steps to make them Japanese citizens. But except for 2 months, he never sent any support to nor communicated with them despite the letters the respondent sent. He even visited the Philippines but did not bother to see them. Respondent, on the other hand, exerted all efforts to contact him, but to no avail.

Respondent filed a complaint for declaration of nullity of their marriage on the ground of psychological incapacity, in which the trial court rendered it so.

CA affirmed trial court’s decision contesting before the SC that the requirements in Molina and Santos were not applicable for the case at bar involves a “mixed marriage,” the husband being a Japanese national.

ISSUES:

1) WON Toshio is psychologically incapacitated.

2) WON requirements in Molina and Santos applicable in mixed marriages.

RULING:

1) NO. The totality of evidence presented fell short of proving that Toshio was psychologically incapacitated to assume his marital responsibilities. His act of abandonment was doubtlessly irresponsible but it was never alleged nor proven to be due to some kind of psychological illness.

As the Court ruled in Molina, it is not enough to prove that a spouse failed to meet his responsibility and duty as a married person; it is essential that he must be shown to be incapable of doing so due to some psychological, not physical, illness. There was no proof of a natal or supervening disabling factor in the person, an adverse integral element in the personality structure that effectively incapacitates a person from accepting and complying with the obligations essential to marriage.

Toshio’s act of abandonment was doubtlessly irresponsible but it was never alleged nor proven to be due to some kind of psychological illness.

2) YES. In proving psychological incapacity, no distinction must be made between an alien spouse and a Filipino spouse. The medical and clinical rules to determine psychological incapacity were formulated on the basis of studies of human behavior in general. Hence, the norms used for determining psychological incapacity should apply to any person regardless of nationality.

In proving psychological incapacity, no distinction must be made between an alien spouse and a Filipino spouse. The Court cannot be lenient in the application of the rules merely because the spouse alleged to be psychologically incapacitated happens to be a foreign national. The medical and clinical rules to determine psychological incapacity were formulated on the basis of studies of human behavior in general.

Hence, the norms used for determining psychological incapacity should apply to any person regardless of nationality.

* Case digest by Cherrie Mae E. Aguila-Granada, LLB-1, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2017-2018

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